Nearly a quarter of a century after putting the finishing touches on one of the most prolific receiving careers in Michigan State history, Andre Rison is returning to his collegiate football home.
In an interview with the Flint Journal, Rison confirmed that he will be joining the Spartans’ coaching staff and will serve as a student assistant coach in 2012. Arguably the best part of this story? The student part is an apt part of his title; 30 hours short of receiving his degree when he left MSU following the 1988 season, Rison will be fulfilling a promise he made to those very near and dear to him that he would go back to school at some point and earn his degree.
Thanks to head coach Mark Dantonio and the university, he’ll be able to do just that while also broadening his coaching horizons.
“I promised my mother, father and grandparents that I would go back and finish my degree one day,” said Rison. “This will also enable me to be part of the coaching staff at Michigan State and I am very thankful to Mark Dantonio for giving me the opportunity. I’ve always been close to the Michigan State program and have wanted to give back by coaching for a long time.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I know I’ll be able to help Michigan State’s receivers better their game. I have a lot of experiences in college, the NFL and through my coaching that I can pass along. I am really looking forward to coaching with Mark Dantonio because he cares about the right things, the fundamentals of the game.”
The school has yet to comment on Rison’s addition to the staff, it should be noted.
Rison has spent the past two season as the head coach at his former high school, Flint Northwestern, after serving the previous three seasons as an assistant at Beecher High School in Flint.
Despite playing his last game 23 seasons ago, Rison still ranks second in school history in career receiving yards (2,992) and is third in receptions (146), yards per catch (20.5), receiving touchdowns (20). He also played for 12 seasons in the NFL, including a one-year stint with the Cleveland Browns in 1995 and don’t even get me started on that tangent because I still remember the “I’ll be glad when we get to Baltimore” thing…
(Photo credit: Michigan State athletics)