HEAD COACH HUNT: Coaching candidate list shortens

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- The hunt for the next head football coach at Michigan State moves on after yet another possible candidate decides to stay put.

MSU community reacts to Mark Dantonio's retirement announcement. (Source: WILX)

Coach Luke Fickell, who media members and fans speculated would be former coach Mark Dantonio's successor, said he will remain at Cincinnati.

The announcement was a gut-punch for Michigan State fans who thought Fickell might be making his way to MSU.

The university, however, remains adamant that he had not been officially offered the job. But nonetheless, Fickell was a candidate that the fans were excited about after he led the Bearcats to back to back 11-win seasons the past two years.

In addition to Fickell, Pat Narduzzi, Robert Saleh, Mel Tucker and Matt Campbell have taken themselves out of consideration saying they are happy to stay put.

MSU Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo, who is involved with the search, said the university will make a good hire.

"We're going to get a good football coach. I really believe we are, but it's of all the timing, you know it seems like we've got a game every other day right now. It's been a little difficult for me, but I'm also a big-picture guy where a football coach at Michigan State, for me, is as important as just about anything," Izzo said.

The Michigan State Board of Trustees is expecting to be briefed Monday night about the search.

The Spartan head football coach job is the first major hire that Athletic Director Bill Beekman has been in charge of.

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