Staten big part of MSU successPublished 8:41pm Tuesday, June 12, 2012
BERRIEN SPRINGS — Former Dowagiac standout Mark Staten is making his mark in college football.
Staten has been an assistant for Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio for the entire nine years that he has been a head coach.
The two actually worked together when Staten was a graduate assistant at Ohio State University. He moved to Cincinnati with Dantonio in 2004 where he coached tackles, tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator.
He took on the same role at MSU in 2006 when Dantonio moved to East Lansing to take over the Spartan program.
In 2011, he became Michigan State’s offensive line coach and helped the Spartans win the Legends Division and play in the first Big Ten Championship Game last December.
Staten had a key hand in improving an inexperienced offensive line that jelled late in the season and helped the Spartans roll up more than 400 yards in total offense in four of its final five games.
Dantonio, who was at the Berrien County Sportsman’s Club for an alumni and fan event Tuesday, has been impressed with Staten since their days together at Ohio State.
“He is a tremendous role model for our players and he is an outstanding worker,” he said. “He’s very intelligent, tough minded, loyal and he’s going on his ninth year now as a coach with me. He’s been a guy that has done a great job recruiting. He’s a tireless worker and he’s a guy that has helped shake this program.”
And shape the program Dantonio and his staff have.
Michigan State is 55-25 in those six years overall and 34-14 in the Big Ten. The Spartans have won back-to-back Legend Division championships.
Dantonio, like he does with all the members of his staff, feels that Staten will someday be a head coach.
“I foresee all of our guys becoming head coaches,” he said. “He’s still very young in the scheme of things. Sometimes they don’t realize that.”