Michigan State To Interview 2 Surprising Candidates
Michigan State is set to interview 2 surprising candidates for the opening left behind by Mark Dantonio’s abrupt departure.
Dantonio was something of a staple at Michigan State. He had been the head football coach since 2007 and amassed a record of 114-57 overall. The 63-year-old had also gone 7-6 in bowl games.
The last few seasons have not gone especially well for the Spartans. The program underwhelmed against Big Ten competition and various scandals seemed to hit the headlines with regularity.
Even Dantonio’s exit was not without controversy. Last month, he collected a substantial payday simply for being the head coach at the time. Weeks later, he quit suddenly – leaving many to wonder about the timing.
If Dantonio had left earlier, Michigan State would have had ample opportunity to find a suitable replacement.
Now it’s slim pickings out there, with all the big name coaches either signed by new programs or retained with massive extensions.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) February 8, 2020
This weekend, Michigan State is set to interview two big names for its vacancy: Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and Colorado head coach Mel Tucker.
While Fickell speaks for himself as far as being a worthy candidate, Tucker is a bit more puzzling. In his first season at Colorado he put together a 5-7 record.
Conversely, Fickell has shined with the Bearcats and had a very positive history with Dantonio before striking out on his own.
With Fickell at the helm, Cincinnati has recorded 22 victories over the past two years.
If Michigan State ultimately decides to go with Fickell, it will need to contend with a $2 million buyout. That is a hefty chunk of change. And if you add that to what it just paid Dantonio last month, you have to wonder whether it would have simply been cheaper to fire Dantonio a few months ago and then get a top-tier candidate.
Either way, that ship has sailed. It will be interesting to see where Michigan State ultimately goes from here. A hire will likely be made at some point in the next few weeks.