Michigan State will be sad to see Don Treadwell go, but few Big Ten assistants are more deserving of a head-coaching position than Treadwell.
(UPDATED: Statements below)
After four years as Spartans' offensive coordinator, Treadwell has accepted the head-coaching position at Miami (Ohio), his alma mater. He's the second Michigan State assistant to leave for a MAC job in as many seasons; running backs coach Dan Enos went to Central Michigan after last season. Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell also were in the mix at Miami.
Treadwell's highlight as a Spartans' assistant came this season as he ran the program during Mark Dantonio's health-related absence. He made several gutsy play calls in Michigan State's biggest win of the season, a 34-24 triumph against Wisconsin on Oct. 2 that proved to be the Badgers' only loss.
Arguably no assistant in America played a bigger role in a signature win than Treadwell. He figured to land a top job soon, and Miami (Ohio) is a good spot for him.
Treadwell will coach his last game for Michigan State on Saturday in the Capital One Bowl before moving onto his new gig.
It will be interesting to see where Dantonio turns for a successor. Offensive assistants Dave Warner (quarterbacks), Dan Roushar (offensive line) and Mark Staten (tight ends, recruiting coordinator) all have been with Dantonio for a while, so there's certainly a chance he'll promote one to the coordinator spot.
Michigan State undoubtedly will stick with the pro-style offense that has worked well this season under Treadwell's leadership.
Staff continuity had been a hallmark for Dantonio, so Treadwell's departure presents a bit of a challenge. But I'm sure Dantonio is thrilled to see a top assistant get his shot to run a program.
Here are some statements regarding Treadwell heading to Miami.
"Don Treadwell will be an outstanding head coach - he comes from a great background of coaches and he's ready for this position. He will serve his players well, not only as a coach but as someone they will look up to for the rest of their lives. To go back and do this at his alma mater makes it even more special to him. I know he's extremely excited for this next challenge in his life. We will miss Don and his family deeply here at Michigan State, and I will miss him personally, but this is his opportunity, his time.
"He did a phenomenal job stepping in while I was down, continuing to keep our system in place while showing incredible composure, which is one of his greatest attributes. So often, a team reflects its leader. At that point in time, leadership was thrust upon Don Treadwell. It was thrust upon our players, it was thrust upon all of our coaches, but in particular Coach Tread. They took on that persona of quiet confidence, assurance, and composure. You saw our team play like that, especially in the Wisconsin game, which was maybe our biggest win of the entire season. He was instrumental in helping us build a foundation with our program."
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis
"Even prior to this year, there was no question Don Treadwell was prepared for a head coaching job. In the unfortunate situation with coach Dantonio, he just shined throughout that entire process, not only holding the team together but being the face to represent Michigan State football publicly. There's no doubt in my mind that he has both the football knowledge and the presence to bring a community together to make Miami's program continue to thrive and get better and better. He's been a head coach with us, and now he'll have his own program to run."
"It's a dream come true to return to my alma mater, Miami, as head football coach. Miami has always held a special place in my heart, and the opportunity to be a part of the 'Cradle of Coaches' is a privilege as well as a responsibility. I have a blueprint for success for our student-athletes: in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community. Everyone in the program plays an important role, and with all of us heading in the same direction, we can add a new chapter to the rich tradition of Miami football. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get started."