Tis the season to be jolly and for college football coaching rumors. Just as the Spartans are preparing for their first trip to the Rose Bowl in over 20 years, they are having to deal with the coaching rumor mill themselves.
The latest subject of the rumors is Michigan State Spartans Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Narduzzi recently made news by turning down a head coaching job at UConn. According to reports Narduzzi turned down the job at UConn after careful consideration about his career and what the Spartans may be next season.
Michigan State has the Nations #1 ranked defense and many of those players are returning. Pat Narduzzi said during a recent press conference that the Spartans prospects for next season definitely factored into his decision.
If you’re grounded and smart, you know it wasn’t you,”’ Narduzzi said, referencing the amount of contributions from others around him that has made the Spartans’ defense rank as the nation’s most elite. “It was everybody else that you’re around. You hate to break up a great party that we have going on right now, and it better be a great opportunity. It felt like this is the place to stay.”
It’s a great place, enjoy coming to work every day,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to have on the other end of that. So enough said. That’s what it is It’s a great place to work. If I was just half happy, you know, it’s easy to go take a job. It’s like well, you know, shoot. It’s easy. But it’s a great place to work and you’re happy with the people you’re with and the players. There is an attachment there.
But when you are a coach that helped to build the #1 defense in the country, your name will be mentioned as a candidate for many head coaching jobs.
The most recent is job opening Narduzzi’s name has been attached to is Bowling Green University. Last week Bowling Green Falcons Head Coach Dave Clawson left for the head job at Wake Forest. This on the heels of the Falcons beating Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game and causing BCS Bedlam in the process.
Now that the dust has settled, Bowling Green Falcons insider John Wagner has mentioned Pat Narduzzi has a possible candidate for the Bowling Green job. Now as Spartan fans read this they are probably dismissing any head coaching opportunity that may come up in the MAC.
But fans should not dismiss the MAC so quickly. The MAC has a history of grooming coaches for head coaching positions in major college conferences.
Several Big Ten head coaches have a MAC pedigree. Urban Meyer started his head coaching career in the MAC, at Bowling Green in fact. So did Purdue’s Darrell Hazell (Akron) and Michigan’s Brady Hoke (Ball State). And on a National scale, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Tennessee coach Butch Jones cut their teeth in division I football at Central Michigan University.
Although Pat Narduzzi turned down the job at UConn last week, Bowling Green might be the job for him. At Bowling Green he gets to stay in the midwest and can capitalize on the recruiting contacts he has already established. The MAC also plays the Big Ten conference regularly in non conference play so Narduzzi would get the opportunity to test his head coaching metal against major conference competition.
After all is said and done, Pat Narduzzi is probably going to stay at Michigan State next season. Although he has chosen to stay put now, the rumors aren’t going to go away and will likely increase after another successful season by the Spartans in 2014.