Mark Dantonio and Mark Snyder only worked together for three years as co-defensive coordinators at Ohio State. However, their previous relationship was enough for Dantonio to turn toward Snyder to fill a major opening on Michigan State’s coaching staff.
After five years of calling defensive plays for the Texans A&M Aggies and South Florida Bulls, Snyder was offered a different position by Dantonio.
Michigan State University released a statement Friday that Snyder will take over as the program’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.
“I think on every staff, there needs to be check and balances,” Dantonio said in the statement. “Mark Snyder has done it all in his career: he’s been a linebackers coach, a front-seven coach, a defensive line coach in the Big Ten, a head coach, and a coordinator. So he’s a big picture guy, and also understands the value of special teams. I expect him to be that checks and balances part of our front seven.”
The first report that linked Snyder to Michigan State surfaced Thursday, but it wasn’t clear exactly what role he would serve on the Spartans staff.
Apparently, the coaches’ shared experience from a decade ago was enough for Dantonio to name Snyder the team’s new special coordinator even though the former defensive coordinator hasn’t officially served in that role since he was an assistant coach with the Youngstown State Penguins in the mid-1990’s.
“When we first had this opening, I made a short list of the coaches that I’ve worked with in the past that fit this position, and there were very few,” Dantonio said. “He did a tremendous job at linebackers coach at Ohio State and also with special teams. We were together for three years in the staff room and on the practice fields. There’s a lot of vocabulary and terminology that are similar in our defense.”
Snyder will coach linebackers alongside recently promoted co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel, and the former Texas A&M coach was excited for the opportunity to join Michigan State’s staff.
“The one thing about Coach Dantonio that has always stood out to me is that he’s so competitive and such a fundamentalist,” said Snyder. “I had a chance to work with him for three years at Ohio State and learned so much football from him. As an outsider looking in, Michigan State is right there as a national brand, and I think a lot of that has to do with Coach Dantonio and how he’s handled everything. He’s done an absolutely tremendous job of branding Michigan State’s football program. For my family to get a chance to get back to the Midwest, and also be with him and his family, we thought it was a great opportunity for us.”