Dantonio Talks Turning MSU Around

As Spring Football practice continues, Dantonio outlined how he and his staff will get the program turned around. After outlining his six key objectives that he wants to accomplish, Dantonio sat down with GSN to talk about the task of turning the program from its underachieving ways.

EAST LANSING - Coach Mark Dantonio has a big job on his hands in attempting to turn around a Michigan State football program that consistently under achieved under the John L. Smith regime

But Dantonio is up for the challenge.

As Spring Football practice continues, Dantonio outlined how he and his staff will get the program turned around. After outlining his six key objectives that he wants to accomplish, Dantonio sat down with GSN to talk about the task of turning the program from its underachieving ways.

"I look at a lot of places (that have turned it around). I look at Virginia Tech, when I was an assistant there. I look at Virginia Tech very strongly. I look at what Rutgers has done, I look at what Wake Forest has done, I look at what Wisconsin has done in the 90's. There are a lot of places and a lot of people that you can point to," said Dantonio.

The new Spartans head coach further mentioned that some of the nation's top programs have gone through periods when they were down, only to bounce back again, something he hopes to achieve at Michigan State.

"I look across the nation in terms of, well, you know LSU was a terrible football program until Coach [Nick] Saban went there. I look at Texas, they were down, I look at Oklahoma they were down. You can point around the nation and see people that were not quite having the success they were used to but somehow they got the magic back," he said.

Dantonio says it isn't a stretch to believe Michigan State can and will get it done, but said it will take constant effort and diligence on the part of everyone from the players to the coaching staff to the administration.

"I believe it can happen and it can happen anywhere in America but you have to continually reassess where you're at, critique what you're doing and build it for success."

Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, who rebuilt the football program there, agreed with Dantonio. He told GSN that he faced a similar situation in Madison.

"It wasn't just a little bit down at Wisconsin, it was a lot down at Wisconsin. We basically started from scratch and our first year we were 1-10, we just didn't have good players there.

How did Alvarez get it done at Wisconsin after being down so long?

"You have to go in and you teach winning 365 days a year. It's about how you run your organization. It's what's expected from the players, the coaches, the secretaries, the equipment people, everyone has to be on board and know the philosophy that's going to turn the program around", said Alvarez.

Dantonio agreed saying one thing MSU will have to deal with are the inevitable growing pains that come with rebuilding a team in the new staff's image.

"You have to be able to withstand some growing pains, that's going to happen. You've got to be strong, withstand some growing pains and do it your way."

TOMORROW: Dantonio talks to GSN about how MSU went through an identity crisis of sorts and how he intends to change the culture back to the glory days of 60's under Duffy Daugherty.


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