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Michigan State looks to Air Force for DL coach

Ron Burton

Two weeks after Michigan State abruptly “parted ways” with long-time defensive line coach Ted Gill, Mark Dantonio has landed a replacement.

The Spartans head coach announced via a press release that Ron Burton has been hired as his new line coach.  Burton will replace the veteran Gill, who had spent the past nine seasons on a Dantonio-led staff, including all six in East Lansing.

“He was simply dynamic during the entire interview process,” Dantonio said in a portion of his statement. “We had an opportunity to share some ideas last year in a professional development setting, and we believe Ron is a natural fit in terms of defensive terminology and concepts. He also brings great energy and management skills to the coaching staff. We look forward to seeing Ron interact with our players and watching our defensive linemen thrive under his teaching.”

Burton has spent the past 10 seasons as the line coach at Air Force.  He does have experience in the Big Ten in general and the state specifically as he was an assistant at Indiana for five seasons (1997-2001) and Eastern Michigan for two (1995-96).

“I had an opportunity to visit with Michigan State’s entire defensive staff during a professional development setting last year, and I was most impressed with everyone’s professionalism,” Burton said. “We sat and talked football, and I was simply amazed at how the staff handled things. I also had heard so many positives about Coach Dantonio from my peers – they all talked about his leadership and how he promoted a family atmosphere. Well, I got a first-hand glimpse of how the defensive staff did interact like a family.

“I’m excited about working with a Spartan defensive unit that has really established itself as one of the nation’s elite over the last three seasons. I’m looking forward to working for Coach Dantonio and alongside Pat Narduzzi, Mike Tressel and Harlon Barnett. Being presented with the opportunity to help grow and develop a great defensive front is really the icing on the cake for me.”

(Photo credit: Michigan State athletics)

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1 Response to “Michigan State looks to Air Force for DL coach”
  1. tommy57 says: Feb 9, 2013 12:29 AM

    I’m always (and probably unreasonably) suspicious of lateral moves – where someone moves from one organization to fill the very same position at another. Most successful moves involve someone moving up in their career.

    Also, and absolutely nothing against the character of Spartan players, coaching Air Force Cadets (whose future is in military service) is probably very different than college players with NFL aspirations.

    Combine these two thoughts and I’m not sure about this move.

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