MSU's Mark Dantonio named Big Ten Coach of the Year

(WXYZ) - Michigan State seventh-year head coach Mark Dantonio, who has led the Spartans to a school-record tying 11 wins and their second Big Ten Legends Division title in three years, has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the league's head coaches and media, as announced on BTN Tuesday evening.

This marks the second time Dantonio has been named the Dave McClain Coach of the Year, as voted on by the media, and the first time he has been tabbed the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year.

Since the award's inception in 1972, Dantonio is the first Spartan coach to earn Dave McClain Coach of the Year honors twice. He also won the award in 2010 after leading MSU to an 11-1 regular-season record and a share of the Big Ten Championship.

Dantonio released the following statement:

"This is really a program award. We've had a remarkable season because of the outstanding job that our coaching staff and players have done. There is great chemistry on this football team, led by a special senior class that has provided solid leadership throughout the season. This team is fun to be around.

"There were a lot of question marks and unknowns heading into this season. We showed great resilience during some early season growing pains and played at a consistently high level during our Big Ten schedule. We were able to manage that success and played our best football down the stretch as the stakes got higher.

"We've accomplished our first goal by winning the Legends Division title. We look forward to the challenge of playing an undefeated Ohio State team for the Big Ten Championship. We're in the process of making lifetime memories, and we're looking forward to the weekend."

Information from the Michigan State Sports Communication department was used in this report.

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