There’s no question Michigan State football wants to move on from its tumultuous 2016 season, where the team finished under .500 for the first time in seven years and dealt with multiple player arrests.
Spartans athletics director Mark Hollis, however, is confident the football program will do just that.
In an one-on-one interview with the Detroit News, Hollis was asked where he confidence in coach Mark Dantonio, as well as the football program, is after such a rocky season. His response was straight and to the point.
“Well, he’s the same head coach that took us to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe,” Hollis told the Detroit News. “He’s the same coach that took us to Rose bowls and Cotton bowls and the playoffs.”
Dantonio has been the Spartans coach since the 2007 season, and has recorded five 10-win seasons in East Lansing. Before losing to Alabama in the 2015 College Football Playoffs, he won four straight bowl games from 2011 to 2014.
Hollis, while expressing confidence in Dantonio, also described the outcome of the 2016 season as a result of a multitude of factors.
“I have high confidence and it’s almost trite saying it: Coach (Dantonio) is a great football coach,” Hollis told the Detroit News. “Kids are changing today, the game is changing. I think you’re seeing a lot of different variables that are out there of which was sort of the perfect storm for Michigan State last year.”
“You got to remember, they’re coaching kids that are 17 to 20 year olds,” Hollis told the Detroit News. “They’re not cogs in a machine and they’re not professional football players. They’re children and that’s not to excuse mistakes, that’s not to excuse poor performance, ’cause they’re all trying to be the best that they can be in what they do.”
Hollis also said he believes there’s a connection between the outcomes on the field, as well as the actions off the field.
“I think when you sit back and you can reflect on it, were there things that were seen that could have improved our on-field performance?” Hollis told the Detroit News. “I do think there is a connection and everybody needs to check themselves.”
Michigan State opens up its 2017 football season against Bowling Green on Sept. 2.
The post Michigan State AD Mark Hollis says he has ‘high confidence’ in coach Mark Dantonio appeared first on Land of 10.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.