Dantonio: Spartans Will Build On First Season

"This is the first step, we need to continue to recruit, we need to get some top guys yet, so that will be the next phase for us,"--Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

ORLANDO, FL - It was a bittersweet experience for the Michigan State (7-6) football team in head coach Mark Dantonio's first season.

Sweet were the wins downs the stretch against Indiana, Purdue and Penn State to get to 7-5 and earn the team's first bowl bid since 2003's Alamo Bowl appearance.

Bitter was the way it ended with a close 24-21 loss to the Boston College Eagles. Still through it all, the coaching staff remained upbeat and spoke about the next steps for the football team.

"I don't think until the last second ticked off that anyone doubted that we could come back and win that game," said quarterbacks coach Dave Warner. That's what we're going to build on, having them believe for sixty full minutes, we'll pull more of these games out than we don't."

Coach Mark Dantonio echoed those sentiments.

"We came in here last year with a group of guys and it seemed like everyone had given up hope on the Spartans football team. that's the sense that I had coming in here as a coach. Not many people thought we'd make it to a bowl game much less play a 10-3 team in the Champs Bowl, so from that standpoint I can say we had outstanding leadership from our seniors.

It's been special because of the way our guys handle themselves. Its not without growing pains, but it's been a special year. Its amazing how close you can grow to young people to your team in a short time, really in less than a year you can honestly sit here and say 'I love these guys.' That's what coaching should be all about."

"This is the first step," Dantonio continued, "we need to continue to recruit, we need to get some top guys yet, so that will be the next phase for us, but I'm very proud of our football team and we had outstanding support from the Spartan Nation, they've been great all year long and I want to thank them for that publicly."

Spartan Nation Top Stories