Coach Dantonio's Wife, Daughters Talk About Spartans' Season

You may not always see them on the sidelines, but, chances are, they're in the stands. The ladies in MSU Football Coach Mark Dantonio's life -- his wife and two daughters-- are die-hard Spartan football fans.

"It's a big chunk of our time, a big chunk of our thoughts and what we do and how we spend our time," said Becky Dantonio, Coach's wife. "It's a really big part of our lives, I would say."

We caught up with Becky, Kristen and Lauren Dantonio inside Coach Dantonio's office, where they spoke candidly about Coach D and the Spartans' season.

Kristen Dantonio is a junior at MSU; Lauren Dantonio is a freshman. They love having their dad on campus.

"I live kind of close to his office, so I think I see him every day or, if not, every other day," Lauren said.

The Dantonio family is close, especially when it comes to football. Dantonio's daughters try to watch every game together.

"Kristen and I have, like, a pregame ritual," Lauren said. "We always see [our dad] like 30 minutes before kickoff. He comes over to us on the field and he'll say hi."

You might say the Dantonio daughters have even inspired some play calls.

"Ever since Lauren and I were little, we'd always say, 'Run a trick play, Dad, run a trick play,'" Kristen said. "So whenever he does run a trick play, we always get really excited. Sometimes before games we'll say, 'Don't forget the trickery.'"

Whether that's Little Giants, when MSU faked a field goal that led to the game-winning touchdown against Notre Dame in 2010, or Hey Diddle Diddle, at this season's Iowa game.

"At Iowa, I was on the sidelines during the game and I looked at him and said, 'Run a trick play,' and he said, 'It's coming,'" Kristen said. "And that's when they did Mike Sadler's play, and afterwards he came and fist-bumped me."

Punter Mike Sadler ran 25 yards on a fourth-down fake in that game.

The girls agree their favorite moment of the season was beating the University of Michigan.

"Our whole family was in town and we had a celebration," said Kristen.

"It was my birthday so it was kind of the best present ever to beat Michigan and to win so big, too," Lauren said.

For Becky?

"I think when we knew at Northwestern that we clinched the Legends division championship was probably the most special moment for me," she said. "It was just -- it was amazing to know that we were going to be Legends champs."

We'll find out Saturday night if the Spartans will be Big 10 champs, too.

"I'm just hoping we go down on Saturday, we take care of business, we win the game and there's no discussion about it -- that we're just headed to the Rose Bowl," Becky said.

Becky, Kristen and Lauren Dantonio are in Indianapolis for the game and will be watching from the stands.


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