Coach Dantonio Makes First Public Appearance Since Heart Attack

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

It's been said that there's a rainbow for every storm. Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio's Saturday is as good of proof as any of that adage.

At halftime of Lansing Catholic's game against Williamston, Dantonio made his first public appearance since his heart attack last Sunday following his team's thrilling overtime win over Notre Dame. He was there to see his daughter Kristen crowned homecoming queen.

It's a moment that Dantonio would have missed if he hadn't been forced to take some time away from Michigan State for his health.

Meanwhile, his team took care of business, pounding Northern Colorado 45-7. Running back Le'Veon Bell scored three touchdowns and the defense came up with 4 interceptions to make sure there would be no upset at Spartan Stadium on Saturday.

"I'm proud at the way the kids approached the game without Coach D on the sidelines," said defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.

"We were definitely playing for [Coach Dantonio] this week," said Bell. "Coach D's always there with us whether he's there physically or not."

The team kept Dantonio in their thoughts by wearing helmet stickers with the letter "D" in his honor.

Offensive Coordinator Don Treadwell came down from his position in the booth to man the sidelines for Saturday's contest. Coach Dantonio gave his temporary replacement a few words of encouragement before the game over the phone.

"He gave me his blessing," said Treadwell. "He just has that reassuring voice that's nice to hear."

The team received a little encouragement of their own when Dantonio visited them for walkthroughs on Friday.

"It was a sigh of relief seeing the white in his eyes and knowing he's doing well instead of just hearing it," said running back Edwin Baker.

"He's a great leader and it was nice to see he's okay," said safety Marcus Hyde. "He's going to keep getting better and we're ready for him to come back."

Although there hasn't been an announcement as to when Coach Dantonio will return and the team would like him back as soon as possible, quarterback Kirk Cousins is keeping things in perspective.

"You only get one heart and he's a dad with two daughters," said Cousins. "That's far more important than a football team and a football game."

Judging by where Coach Dantonio was Saturday, there's nobody who knows that better than him.


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