EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio announced on Monday, March 4 the hiring of Jim Bollman and also the restructuring of his staff for the 2013 season.
Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, the architect of the Big Ten’s top defense the past two seasons, has been promoted to assistant head coach. Narduzzi enters his seventh year as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator in 2013. MSU, Alabama and Florida State are the only three programs in the country to rank in the NCAA FBS Top 10 the past two seasons in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense.
Dave Warner, who coached the Spartan quarterbacks for the last six seasons, has been promoted to co-offensive coordinator, filling the position left by Dan Roushar, who recently was named running backs coach for the New Orleans Saints. In addition to his new role as co-offensive coordinator, Warner will now coach the running backs.
Brad Salem, who has been the running backs coach for the past three seasons and also serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator, will now coach the quarterbacks.
Bollman, who has 36 years of coaching experience, both at the collegiate and professional levels, including 11 years as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at Ohio State (2001-11), will be the co-offensive coordinator, while also coaching the tight ends. He was hired as the offensive line coach at Purdue last month after spending the 2012 season as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator at Boston College.
“This is the fourth time in my career that I’ve had an opportunity to work with Jim Bollman, so there’s definitely a comfort level there,” said Dantonio. “He has a tremendous amount of football knowledge, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In addition to serving as co-offensive coordinator, Jim will coach the tight ends, and he spent three years coaching that position in the NFL. He also has long-standing recruiting ties in Ohio. We’re excited about having Jim and his family back in the MSU community.
“Jim has been an offensive coordinator for 11 of the last 12 years. During his tenure in Columbus, Ohio State won six Big Ten Championships, a National Championship and played in two other BCS National Championship Games. He has performed under pressure at the highest level and on the biggest stage. With pressure comes experience, and Jim has been rock solid in those situations. He’s respected for his development as well as treatment of his players. He’s simply a ball coach.”
In addition to the newly hired Bollman, Dantonio expounded on the other changes he made to his staff, including naming Narduzzi assistant head coach.
“No one has officially held that position before on my staff, but in Pat Narduzzi’s case, it’s certainly warranted,” remarked Dantonio. “Pat is a great leader on the defensive side of the football, who has forged strong relationships with his players, and he’s also an outstanding recruiter. Over the last six years, he has helped build one of the Big Ten’s best defenses, and over the last two years, Michigan State has become one of the nation’s elite units, ranking among the NCAA’s Top 10 in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense.
“I also appreciate his loyalty because Pat has been approached by several programs over the last few years and he’s elected to remain a Spartan. I know he doesn’t take this position lightly. When I’m not in the office, Pat takes control of the day-to-day operation. He’s held those duties for the last two years, but without the formal title.
“I’ve coached with Dave Warner for 11 years now, including six here at Michigan State, one season at Cincinnati and four more at Kansas. Since his arrival at MSU, Dave has done an excellent job in developing our quarterbacks, and now, he’ll have an opportunity to impact the running backs.
“Dave has been an important figure in our offense for the past six years – both the successes as well as the setbacks. There’s power in all of that information, so it’s a great advantage for him to assume the role of co-offensive coordinator as we move forward. I’ve been impressed with his organizational and time management skills. In addition, Dave has displayed the ability to make quick decisions.
“With his background as a quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and head coach at Augustana College, Brad Salem brings a broad prospective and vision to the position. He’s an innovative offensive coach, with a strong commitment to teaching proper techniques and fundamentals.”
With the new staff in place, Dantonio is looking forward to spring practice, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
“We might simplify some things, yet become more diversified as an offense,” said Dantonio. “Throughout the spring, things will be added and subtracted from the offense. Changes aren’t being made for the sake of change; changes are being made with a purpose. With that mindset, we can create different opportunities for our playmakers.”
The 58-year-old Bollman has coached in 17 bowls, including three Bowl Championship Series National Championship games, and was the offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes during their 2002 National Championship season.
Bollman and Dantonio have coached together before on three previous occasions: Youngstown State (1986-90), Michigan State (1995-97) and Ohio State (2001-03).
Bollman was the offensive line coach for three seasons (1995-97) at MSU under Nick Saban while Dantonio was the secondary coach. Dantonio and Bollman both arrived at Ohio State for the 2001 season. Dantonio spent three years (2001-03) as the defensive coordinator under Jim Tressel, while Bollman went on to coach 11 years (2001-11) for the Buckeyes, both as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator. Dantonio and Bollman first coached together at Youngstown State for four seasons (1986-90).
The Buckeyes compiled a 100-28 overall record (.781) during Bollman’s tenure as offensive coordinator from 2001-11 (Ohio State had to vacate 12 wins from the 2010 season). The Buckeyes achieved seven 10-win (or more) seasons during that stretch, and he coached in 11 bowl games, including eight BCS games (2003 BCS National Championship, 2004 Fiesta, 2006 Fiesta, 2007 BCS National Championship, 2008 BCS National Championship, 2009 Fiesta, 2010 Rose, 2011 Sugar).
Under Bollman's offensive direction at Ohio State, his players earned first-team All-Big Ten honors 23 times, including quarterback Troy Smith, who captured the 2006 Heisman Trophy and also earned the Walter Camp Award, Davey O'Brien Award, AP Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year his senior season. While at OSU, Bollman also mentored 15 linemen that went on to make NFL rosters, and he has worked with 29 players overall that have played professionally during his coaching career. In addition, six Buckeyes on the offensive side of the ball were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft during Bollman’s tenure.
Prior to arriving at Ohio State, Bollman coached three seasons in the NFL. He was the tight ends coach under Ray Rhodes for one year at Philadelphia (1998) and was with the Chicago Bears for two seasons (1999-2000) as a tight ends coach under Dick Jauron.
Before jumping to the professional ranks, Bollman spent three seasons as the offensive line coach at Michigan State (1995-97). Bollman tutored Flozell Adams, who was named the 1997 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and went on to become a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Spartan offensive linemen earned All-Big Ten recognition on six occasions under Bollman as Michigan State made three consecutive bowl appearances (1995 Independence, 1996 Sun, 1997 Aloha).
Bollman served as the offensive line coach at Virginia for four seasons (1991-94) and helped the Cavaliers to three bowl games (1991 Gator, 1993 Carquest, 1994 Independence). At UVA, Bollman mentored two recipients of the Jacobs Trophy as the ACC’s top blocker (Ray Roberts in 1991; Mark Dixon in 1993).
During Bollman’s five seasons at Youngstown State under Tressel from 1986-90, the Penguins amassed a 34-25 record (.576) and advanced to the NCAA I-AA Playoffs three times. Bollman was the defensive coordinator at YSU in 1986-88 and switched over to become the offensive coordinator in 1989-90. Dantonio was the secondary coach for the Penguins in 1986-88 and became the defensive coordinator in 1989-90 when Bollman made the change to offense.
Prior to his stint at Youngstown State, Bollman was assistant head coach for three years at North Carolina State. He guided the Wolfpack’s offensive line in 1983 and ’84, and worked with the inside linebackers during the ’85 season.
Bollman began his coaching career at Miami-Ohio as a graduate assistant in 1977, then served MU as offensive line coach from 1978-82.
A standout offensive lineman at Ohio University where he co-captained the Bobcats as a senior, Bollman received his bachelor’s degree in business education from Ohio in 1977.
Born Dec. 1, 1954, in Ashtabula, Ohio, Bollman’s family includes his wife Terri and two daughters, Courtney and Stephanie.
Narduzzi has developed the Spartans into one of the top defensive teams in the nation. The Spartans are one of just five NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools, along with Alabama, Florida State, Florida and LSU, to rank among the top 10 nationally in total defense the past two seasons. In addition, MSU and Alabama are the only two programs in the country to rank in the NCAA FBS Top 15 the past two seasons in total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and scoring defense.
For the second straight year, Michigan State featured the best defense in the Big Ten in 2012. The Spartans ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in eight categories: touchdowns allowed (second with 16), pass efficiency defense (third at 98.8), total defense (fourth at 274.4 ypg.), pass break-ups (tied for eighth at 4.8 pg.), rushing defense (eighth at 98.6 ypg.), third-down defense (eighth at .305), pass defense (ninth at 175.8 ypg.) and scoring defense (ninth at 16.3 ppg.). In addition, MSU also led the Big Ten in six defensive categories (touchdowns allowed, total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, rushing defense and third-down defense).
Seven starters, including first-team choices Johnny Adams (cornerback), Max Bullough (linebacker) and Darqueze Dennard (cornerback), earned All-Big Ten accolades. During Narduzzi's tenure at MSU, his players have earned All-Big Ten honors 48 times, including eight different first-team selections, and a total of six Spartan defensive players have been chosen in the NFL Draft.
The foundation of Michigan State's defense is stopping the run, and Narduzzi's unit once again proved it could stop the rush in 2012. The Spartans led the Big Ten and ranked eighth in the NCAA FBS in rushing defense, allowing just 98.6 yards per game, which also marked one of the top defensive efforts in Spartan history (10th-fewest allowed). MSU has finished in the top 25 nationally in rushing defense three of the past four seasons (24th in 2009; ninth in 2011; eighth in 2012).
Michigan State led the Big Ten and ranked No. 4 in the NCAA FBS in total defense, permitting just 274.4 yards per game, which was the lowest season average (total defense) since 1987 (241.0 ypg.). The Spartans also led the conference and ranked No. 9 in the NCAA FBS in scoring defense, allowing just 16.3 points per game. The last time MSU permitted a lower scoring average came in 1989 (13.6 ppg.).
The Spartans surrendered just 16 offensive touchdowns (six rushing, 10 passing) - the second-fewest allowed in the NCAA FBS in 2012. Only Notre Dame (15) permitted fewer TDs. MSU also ranked tied for third in the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed (6). In addition, the Spartans forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 68 of 167 possessions (41 percent; 5.23 per game - fourth in the NCAA FBS).
In 2011, the Spartans led the Big Ten in rushing defense (100.5 yards per game), total defense (277.4 ypg.), interceptions (18) and third-down defense (.337). MSU ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 20 in seven statistical categories: sixth in total defense, seventh in sacks (45), ninth in rushing defense, 10th in scoring defense (18.4 ppg), 11th in pass defense (176.9 ypg.), 14th in tackles for loss (105) and 18th in pass efficiency defense (113.3 rating). Every single MSU starter on defense - which featured only two seniors - received All-Big Ten recognition, either on the first team, second team, or honorable mention, establishing a school record.
For a complete look at Narduzzi’s career, please visit his bio page on msuspartans.com.
Warner has been a quarterbacks coach and/or offensive coordinator or passing game coordinator for 24 of his previous 29 seasons as a college assistant. This marks the second time in his career he will be an offensive coordinator, as he also held the same position at Connecticut for two seasons (1999-2000). He was also the passing game coordinator at Wyoming (1998) and Houston (2001-02).
Under the direction of Dave Warner the last six seasons, Spartan quarterbacks have been posting record numbers.
In his first year as the starting quarterback in 2012, junior Andrew Maxwell ranked among MSU's Top 10 single-season leaders in pass attempts (second with 446), pass completions (fourth with 234), passing yards (seventh with 2,606) and total offense (eighth with 2,500 yards). Maxwell, who completed 53 percent of his passes (234-of-446) for 2,606 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions, ranked fourth in the Big Ten in passing (200.5 yards per game) and sixth in total offense (192.3 ypg.), and had six 200-yard passing games.
Kirk Cousins, the winningest quarterback in school history with 27 victories as a starter, became MSU's career record holder in 2011 for passing touchdowns (66), passing yards (9,131), completions (723), passing efficiency (146.1 rating), total offense (9,004 yards) and 200-yard passing games (26). Cousins' numbers were some of the best in Big Ten history, as finished his career ranked among the conference's all-time Top 10 in completion percentage (tied for sixth at .641), passing efficiency rating (sixth), passing yards (10th) and TD passes (tied for 10th).
In his final season wearing the Green and White, Cousins had his best year as a Spartan in 2011, setting a single-season MSU record with 25 touchdown passes and tying a school record with 11 200-yard passing games. Cousins also ranked among MSU's single-season leaders in pass completions (second with 267), passing yards (second with 3,316), pass attempts (second with 419), passing yards per game (third with 236.9 ypg.), total offense (third with 3,227 yards), passing efficiency (seventh at 145.1) and completion percentage (eighth at 63.7).
One of three finalists for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, which is presented to the top player in the Big Ten, Cousins ranked among the conference leaders in passing (second with 236.9 ypg.), touchdown passes (tied for second with 25), passing efficiency (third with 145.1 rating) and total offense (fifth with 234.1 ypg.).
Cousins earned second-team All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and was an honorable mention All-American by SI.com. Winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, Cousins was also named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award and one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award.
Cousins was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 National Football League Draft by Washington and completed 33-of-48 throws (.688) for 466 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season for the Redskins.
As a team, the Spartans set a school record with 3,535 passing yards during the 2011 season, and the 26 passing touchdowns were third most in school history.
In his second year as the starter in 2010, Cousins blossomed his junior season and helped lead Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten Championship. He completed a career-high 67 percent of his passes for 2,825 yards and 20 touchdowns and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. Cousins tied a Michigan State record by throwing a touchdown pass in 16 consecutive games (spanning from 2009 to 2010), and also had one stretch of six consecutive 200-yard passing games.
Warner mentored Brian Hoyer in 2007 and 2008, and Hoyer responded by becoming one of the most productive quarterbacks in Spartan history. Hoyer ranks among MSU's career leaders in pass attempts (No. 3 at 896), passing yards (No. 4 with 6,159), pass completions (No. 4 at 500) and TD passes (No. 7 with 35). Warner also developed Hoyer's game management skills, as the senior captain accumulated a 16-11 record and led the Spartans to back-to-back bowl appearances. Hoyer signed a free agent contract with New England in April 2009 and spent three seasons serving as the back-up quarterback behind Tom Brady. Hoyer completed his fourth season in the NFL with Arizona and started the last game of the 2012 season for the Cardinals.
For a complete look at Warner’s career, please visit his bio page on msuspartans.com.
Salem, a former head coach at NCAA Division II Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., from 2005-09, played quarterback in college at both Northern Arizona and Augustana College. He has been either an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach for seven seasons as a college assistant.
Salem’s first full-time coaching position was at Luther (Iowa) College, where he served as the program’s offensive and recruiting coordinator in 1997-98. He was the passing game and recruiting coordinator at South Dakota for three seasons (1999-2001) before heading to Augustana College. Salem started as the quarterbacks coach at Augustana College in 2003, took over as the offensive coordinator in 2004, and was named head coach in 2005. In five seasons (2005-09) as head coach at Augustana College, Salem compiled a 31-26 record.
As the running backs coach at Michigan State, Salem tutored two first-team All-Big Ten running backs in Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker.
Salem mentored one of the most productive running backs in Michigan State history, in Bell for the past three seasons. Bell had a career year in 2012, winning the Big Ten rushing title and ranking third in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, averaging 137.9 yards per game. Named a first-team All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com, Bell compiled 1,793 rushing yards, the second-highest single-season total in MSU history. The first-team All-Big Ten selection finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671), rushing yards (seventh with 3,346), 100-yard rushing games (eighth with 12) and all-purpose yards (ninth with 4,114).
Salem coached one of the most talented backfields in the Big Ten in 2011, as Baker and Bell combined for 1,613 rushing yards (115.2 yards per game) - the second most of any running back duo in the conference - to go along with 18 rushing touchdowns.
After earning Big Ten All-Freshman honors in 2010, Bell had a breakout season as a sophomore, leading the team in rushing touchdowns (13) and rushing (948 yards; 67.7 ypg.); those marks ranked fifth and eighth in the Big Ten, respectively.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media as a sophomore, Baker led MSU with a season-high 167 yards rushing in the Spartans' fourth-straight win over Michigan in 2011. He finished the season with 665 rushing yards (47.5 ypg.) and closed his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing yards (12th with 2,293) and carries (13th with 462). Baker was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 National Football League Draft by the San Diego Chargers.
Under Salem's direction in 2010, Michigan State's running backs improved their totals from 2009. The resurgent running game was led by Baker, who became just the sixth sophomore in MSU history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone as he compiled 1,201 rushing yards. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree by the media, Baker ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 30th nationally in rushing, averaging 92.4 ypg. In addition, he led the team and ranked seventh in the conference with 13 rushing TDs.
For a complete look at Salem’s career, please visit his bio page on msuspartans.com.
Michigan State opens spring practice on Tuesday, March 19.
Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi
“It’s an honor to be named assistant head coach because in his first nine seasons as a head coach, Mark Dantonio has never had someone in that position. Coach D isn’t someone who throws titles around. I understand this position carries some weight and importance, so I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Dave Warner
On being named co-offensive coordinator:
“First and foremost, I’m excited and honored that Coach Dantonio has the confidence in me to lead this offense.
“Offensively, we’ve had a blue-collar approach and it has worked well for us, but it’s time to make some tweaks and adjustments. We’ve accomplished a lot of good things over the last six years, but it’s time for all of us to step up and help take this program to new heights.”
On his transition as a position coach from quarterbacks to running backs:
“Whenever a change is made, it brings newness and as a result, it adds a little life to the situation. So I’m excited about working with the running backs. All of the skill positions have to work hand in hand, so we can maximize our production.”
On working alongside Jim Bollman as co-offensive coordinator:
“I remember the first time I met Jim Bollman was on a recruiting trip in 1984. He was an assistant coach at N.C. State and I was coaching at Kent State. This is the first opportunity that I’ve had to work with him but he’s highly thought of in the coaching profession. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him to share ideas and get the entire offensive staff fully involved in a collaborative process. We want to put last year behind us, make changes and adjustments, and move forward as an offense.”
Co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Jim Bollman
“I’ve been in the coaching profession for 36 years, and at this point in my career, the people you become associated with are the biggest key. I’ve been fortunate throughout my career, but I’ve had a strong, long-standing relationship with Mark (Dantonio) and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. It’s a real neat thing to be reunited with him.
“Mark has done a great job in bringing stability to this Michigan State football program and building it for long-term success. He accomplished a lot in his first six seasons: six-straight postseason appearances including back-to-back bowl wins, a Big Ten Championship and a Big Ten Legends Division title. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Spartan.
“I know a lot of the guys on this staff through direct and indirect relationships. I knew Brad Salem when he was a graduate assistant here under Nick Saban, Mark Staten when he was a graduate assistant at Ohio State, and first became aware of Dave Warner when he played quarterback for Jim Tressel at Syracuse. There are coaches on this offensive staff with a multitude of experiences. I’m looking forward to working in a collaborative way with Dave Warner and the entire offensive staff. I have no doubt that attitudes and egos with be checked at the door, so we can operate at the optimal level.
“It’s nice to be back here in mid-Michigan. With familiar surroundings, there was a certain comfort level when I drove into town for my interview. The football facilities have certainly changed a lot since my first stop here in the mid-1990s. Trust me, I’ll never take these facility upgrades for granted.”
Quarterbacks coach Brad Salem
On his transition as a position coach from running backs to quarterbacks:
“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this talented group of quarterbacks. I’m looking forward to developing relationships with the quarterbacks, in the position meeting room, on the practice field as well as off the field. A change in responsibility always renews you in some way. I played the position in college and I’ve coached it before, so this isn’t a completely new experience.
“Our offensive staff has always worked well together. There are no egos on this staff, regardless of title. So we’re looking forward to sharing ideas throughout spring practice, as we look to put players in positions to maximize their potential as well as their production.”