MSU football: Dan Roushar leaving Spartans for NFL

For the second time in three seasons, MSU will have a new offensive coordinator. The school confirmed that Dan Roushar has agreed to become the new running backs coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Roushar leaves the Spartans after serving two seasons as offensive coordinator, following four years running the offensive line under head coach Mark Dantonio.

MSU regressed offensively in Roushar’s second season after taking over for Don Treadwell, in major part due to the graduation losses of Kirk Cousins, B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin, Brian Lithicum and Keith Nichol from the 2011 team. First-year quarterback Andrew Maxwell struggled all season, his new receivers dropped plenty of passes early and the Spartans’ offensive line suffered through a glut of injuries that affected continuity.

In 2012, MSU finished 10th in the Big Ten in scoring offense (20 ppg), ninth in total offense (359.3 yards a game) and eighth in rushing offense (149.4 ypg). The Spartans were last in passing efficiency despite finishing fourth in passing yards per game.

Internally, running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Brad Salem and quarterbacks coach Dave Warner seem to be the best candidates.

Salem helped turn 2-star recruit Le’Veon Bell into an All-Big Ten running back who left a year early for the NFL after leading the conference in yards per game. Salem been part of Dantonio’s staff since 2010, when he was hired away from his head coaching job at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He led the Vikings to a 31-26 record, including back-to-back 8-4 seasons in his final two years at the private college – a Division II school that battled limited scholarships and expensive tuition in trying to land top players from the upper Midwest. That experience, plus serving as offensive coordinator there and passing game coordinator at South Dakota, put him to the forefront.

Warner came with Dantonio from Cincinnati and has been MSU’s quarterbacks coach since, tutoring Brian Hoyer, Cousins and Maxwell. He’s spent 24 of his 29 years as a college coach responsible for QBs, passing game or as offensive coordinator. However, his only two seasons as an OC came during 1999 and 2000 at Connecticut – the Huskies’ first years after starting their program. The first season, in I-AA, UConn went 4-7. The next, as a I-A independent, the Huskies were 3-8.

Of course, Dantonio could choose to look outside the program – especially if AD Mark Hollis permits him to give the type of salary ($500K range) that defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi makes. That would attract a long list of qualified, proven candidates from other major schools.

However, with that comes the concern of whether that external coach can mesh with the current staff and players. Dantonio has said continually that staff continuity has been a major factor in MSU’s success – the Spartans are 51-28 in his first six seasons.

Either way, expect Dantonio to move quickly to fill the vacancy. Spring practice is only a month away, starting March 19.

This entry was posted in Football, Mark Dantonio. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to MSU football: Dan Roushar leaving Spartans for NFL

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Let the name of Roushar be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Sparta. Let the name of Roushar be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time. So let it be written, so let it be done

    • avatar Tobacco Road Spartan says:

      And the nation of Sparta said, “Amen.”

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      Wonders what New Orleans is thinking, but who cares really, he’s out of our hair now, he had to know he was being run out of town so he took that train, good for the nation of Sparta !

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      Why? I appreciate what he’s done for MSU football. MD thinks a lot of him. IDIT.

    • avatar Cal says:

      Sorry to burst your “better than thou” bubble, but Dan Roushar’s name will continue to be heard, written, and remembered by all men of knowledge who are not forever burdened by the SOS implanted on their sorry arses.

      Yea, his name will ring loudly not just for his part in the 4 straight wins over the scUM from the south, his part in the twin 11-1 seasons, his play calling in the last breath taking drive against the heavily favored Georgia Bulldogs, but every time the 4 time freshman all-american #66 for the Michigan State Spartans steps on the field. For when Spartan Mag, Hondo, and every other blog had #66 going to either Wisconsin or Iowa, with more recent legacies for putting linemen into the NFL, it was Dan Roushar, and I’ll say it again, Dan Roushar, who stole him from under under the noses of those two hated rivals.

      Survey the top 20 programs in IL and ask their head coaches what THEY thought of Dan Roushar. Better yet, ask Sean Payton.

      For my sake, I’m very saddened by his loss, but thrilled that he is taking is lovely wife and four young and adorable children to a town with real fans that get behind their team, not even, but especially, when the going gets rough, and where he truly will be appreciated. He worked his tail off for us, had greater success than we have seen for almost 50 years, and all we had the strength to do was dump on him.

      Quite honestly, you didn’t deserve him.

      GO GREEN!

  2. avatar Trophy says:

    wondered when the ax would fall on the offensive side

  3. avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

    Much of the “blame” should not be placed on Roushars’ shoulders. The Spartans suffered from having a head coach who was just plain stubborn, from not changing QB’s, to blaming every receiver for dropped passes, from the same QB, to trying to play power football without having a power running game, to trying to win games with a 3 or 7 point lead, the “game of inches” thinking. The prognosticators are telling MSU they will have a better record this year. Because the competition and schedule is a easier. Not because the team has improved. Let’s hope that is not the reality. The team, including coaching, needs to improve, MSU. Fancy dancy scoreboards, new football dressing rooms, offices, press rooms, whatever, won’t get it.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Yes but you have Graham Couch in your life now, that should complete you

      • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

        Never have read 1 piece of his work. So you’re not going to pull my chain, by mentioning his name. Nice Brick and Mortar story.

        MSU 66

        NEBRASKA 54

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      TGB, agree with most of your comments. There’s plenty of “growth” to be realized all the way around in this program. So why do some fashion that argument? They can’t stop their leg!

  4. avatar MLM89 says:

    Rather than promote from within, I’d prefer to see a position coach from a high end SEC team get the spot. New blood is needed to invigorate the offense and bringing recruiting ties from the South couldn’t hurt.

  5. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    What’s hilarious is Couch claiming he knows what the Offense will be for Coach Dantonio next year. Yea, like he has access to Coach Dantonio. What a name dropping, chairwarming, plagiarist.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Dantonio is going to make some changes , Marine and not even Rexrode knows what they are going to be. So yeah that is persumptious , Anyone not on the Coaching Staff will find out in August.

    • avatar Cal says:

      So tired of reading some couch potato retired guy’s critique of a new writer trying to make a name for himself while at the same time replacing a legend. Somebody aughta nepalm your freakin couch …. since you love saying how you love the smell of it in the morning. SOS.

      GO GREEN!

      • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

        Careful Cal,
        He may be retired, but will always be a Marine Aviator.

        You might be on the business end of:

        ….◘▲_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ☼ ☼
        )==)=♂=► ——————————– ☼Cal☼ ☼
        ….◘▼_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ☼ ☼

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

          Thank you, this guy can have all the liberal thoughts and opinions he wants, it’s what I fought for and I’m positive he never did, just an entitlement ZACHARY.

          • avatar Cal says:

            multiple family members who fought in 3 wars on 5 continents and none EVER acted with the willful, ignorant, disrespect that you do on a daily basis marine. i feel bad for ya.

          • avatar Cal says:

            oh, but that’s right, you earned it. it’s just too bad you can’t carry it with even a shred of dignity or humility. i’m pretty sure they at least tried to teach you some of that.

            GO GREEN!

          • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:


            Only if we can restrain ourselves is good conversation possible.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Cal, not trying to pick a fight but if you google USMC you will see he picked up the astronauts at Apollo 15 splashdown he is not just an ordinary Colonel thats all I am saying

        Go Green

        • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

          yes he is an Ordinary Colonel

          Extra-Ordinary ☺ ☺ ☺

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Thanks guys, but when people site what somebody else did as their defense it just continues to erode my faith is the direction this country is presently headed. When the liberal confuse the issue of ability and right, it just says that mediocre is the status quo. IMHO, that’s just wrong. It’s why Paris Hilton goes to the bcs or gets ranked so high in basketball when they have only won 4 games away from Edsel Arena. I think the LSJ erred in hiring Cracker and I will continue to point out why I think that. I have never posted a falsehood about his performance. If folks don’t like to look at the warts, don’t look.

      • avatar Green in Columbus says:

        amen Cal, He has some serious obsession issues.

  6. avatar 3M_Rocker says:

    Thank the gods. Roushar was a disaster and I was worried Dantonio was too stubborn and loyal to sack him. It’s too bad we can’t rid of Warner too. If D promotes Warner, we’re not much better off, IMO. Bring in a whole new offensive mentality, perhaps someone who knows how to score and with recruiting ties in the South.

  7. avatar The Tanner says:

    NFL come call’in baby !!!

    First Tready now Roushy baby !!!

    Richard Burton get line is shape baby !!!

    The Tanner blogmaster baby !!!

  8. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    ESPN 50 in 50 for college basketball:


    Michigan State at 11……I can see it, after seeing who the top 10 are, especially since it’s based on the past 50 years….

    Michigan at 13??? OK, I suppose, since it’s based on the past 50 years and they had most of their “good” years back in the 60′s…..

  9. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    Some guy’s just aren’t “coordinator” material…..although I didn’t like him as our Offensive Coordinator, I wish Roushar nothing but good luck in his new “position” coaching job!!

    Go Green!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>