A report that none of Mark Dantonio‘s former assistants will survive to Mel Tucker‘s new staff has proven incorrect, as at least two of them will officially stick around in East Lansing.
One of them is a special circumstance, as Ron Burton had previously chosen to leave Michigan State for Indiana, then did a U-turn at the border and drove back north on I-69 right to his house in East Lansing.
The other is somewhat surprising, as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and former interim head coach Mike Tressel will remain in green and white.
“I have known Ron Burton and Mike Tressel for almost two decades,” Tucker tweeted Saturday. “It’s (fist emoji) for Spartans football to keep them home. Great coaches. Great recruiters. Great family men.”
I have known @CoachRonBurton & @CoachMikeTress for almost two decades. It's 👊🏾 for #Spartans football to keep them at home. Great coaches. Great recruiters. Great family men. #GoGreen #RELENTLESS https://t.co/9TZZCt0XAm
— Mel Tucker (@Coach_mtucker) February 15, 2020
Tressel went back 16 years with Dantonio, serving three years at Cincinnati before riding all 13 at Michigan State. He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2014 and sole defensive coordinator in 2018.
Burton is regarded as one of the best defensive line coaches in the country. From his bio:
The defensive line is one of the main reasons why Michigan State continues to rank among the national leaders in rushing defense. Since Burton’s first year in 2013, the Spartans have led the Big Ten in rushing defense four times (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018) and have ranked in the NCAA FBS top 11 five of six seasons, including twice at No. 1 (No. 2 in 2013 at 86.6 ypg; No. 1 in 2014 at 88.5 ypg; No. 11 in 2015 at 116.0 ypg; No. 2 in 2017 at 95.3 ypg; No. 1 in 2018 at 77.9 ypg).
With those two officially aboard, Tucker still has eight spots to fill on his new staff.