Photo: Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Pat Narduzzi Celebrate One Last Win Together
Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi coached their last game together on Thursday after 11 seasons.
Their finale as a head coach-defensive coordinator tandem was memorable, to say the least, as their Michigan State Spartans overcame a 20-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Baylor and win the Cotton Bowl, 42-41.
The pair has been through a lot together, from Dantonio first hiring Narduzzi when he took over at Cincinnati in 2004, to Narduzzi following Dantonio to East Lansing to help rebuild MSU’s football program and restore its glory.
Now, Narduzzi is headed to Pittsburgh where he’ll take the helm of the Panthers’ football program.
USA Today Sports photographer Kevin Jairaj caught this incredible moment between Dantonio and Narduzzi once the Spartans completed their Cotton Bowl comeback. The emotion and maybe even some misty eyes are apparent in the photo.
These two did some great things. Best of luck to Coach Narduzzi at Pitt. pic.twitter.com/h71xigFHzY
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) January 1, 2015
During their 11-season run together, Dantonio and Narduzzi posted 93 wins to just 48 losses, which is good for a .650-plus winning percentage. At MSU, they went 75-31 for a .700-plus winning percentage. They brought MSU back from obscurity to national prominence, winning four consecutive bowl games for the first time in Spartan history, winning two Big Ten championships, winning a Rose Bowl and finishing with a Top Five ranking likely twice after the Cotton Bowl win.
Dantonio and Narduzzi helped MSU get to double-digit-win seasons four times in the past five years. Before that stretch, MSU posted double-digit wins just twice in the school’s 114-season history to that point.
A picture really is worth a thousand words.