Michigan State football: 3 Mel Tucker replacements to fix the program

Michigan State football head coach Mel Tucker is suspended without pay and will likely be fired by the Spartans. Who should the program hire to replace him?

Indiana v Michigan State
Indiana v Michigan State / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
3 of 3

1. Mark Dantonio - Former Michigan State HC

While some Michigan State fans will immediately hope that the program could somehow lure former defensive coordinator and current Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi back to East Lansing, that feels highly unlikely. Instead, it's already looking at least possible that former Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio could make his way back into that role.

As the program is placing the interim head coach label on Bennett, as mentioned, Dantonio is also rejoining the staff as an unspecified assistant. And it feels like that could just be the start for the man who held the head coaching job for 13 years at Michigan State -- enjoying plenty of success while there too.

Dantonio retired after the 2019 season, acrruing a 114-57 record with the Spartans, making him the winningest coach in Michigan State history. His retirement is, perhaps, the one thing working against him making a return to his former job.

At the same time, though, for Michigan State athletics program that will surely be trying to rebuild its reputation with Tucker's scandal in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, the stability of the program's best head coach in history would have to be an option.

All told, it's not impossible to imagine a scenario in which Dantonio returns as head coach for the Spartans for a year or two before passing the baton to someone on his staff with the hopes of continuing the rebuild that he'd start. Maybe that's pie-in-the-sky but, with him returning as an assistant, it feels like more of a viable option than it otherwise would've been.

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