Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has seen his share of assistant coaches move up to head coaching jobs.
”He’s played an integral part in helping to build the foundation of our program,” Dantonio said in a statement. “The success we’ve enjoyed over the last eight seasons, both collectively and on the defensive side of the football, has afforded Pat with this opportunity to become a head coach in a Power 5 conference.
”That’s a tremendous accomplishment and he’ll do an outstanding job at Pittsburgh. We wish him nothing but the best.”
But Narduzzi is the first on the defensive side of the ball to join the head coaching ranks. It is his success in the past four years that led to the opportunity, but that success is something Narduzzi credited to the players he has coached.
"I can't say enough about them,'' Narduzzi said. "I've never caught a football in a game at Michigan State, never sacked a quarterback, never made an interception. I just coach them. It's those players who make the plays.
"Without their belief and the way they play, I'm not standing at this podium, so a shout-out to the Spartan Dawgs.''
Narduzzi was one of five remaining coaches that arrived in 2007 in East Lansing, leaving four in offensive coordinator Dave Warner, secondary coach Harlon Barnett, linebackers coach Mike Tressel and offensive line coach Mark Staten.
“As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, staff continuity has been a cornerstone for our sustained success at Michigan State and it will remain a vital constant as we continue to move forward,” Dantonio said.