EAST LANSING, Mich. – Don Treadwell, who served as Michigan State’s offensive coordinator for four seasons from 2007-10 under head coach Mark Dantonio, has returned to the Spartan coaching staff.
Treadwell will assist coaching defensive backs and special teams while also helping as an offensive consultant. In addition, Treadwell will serve as freshmen head coach, a new title created to support first-year players in their growth and development both on and off the field.
“We’re very excited to have Don Treadwell back at MSU,” said Dantonio. “This will be the fifth different time that we’ve worked together on staff, going back to Youngstown State, Cincinnati, and now three times at Michigan State. He did a tremendous job as offensive coordinator during my first seven years as a head coach, calling all the plays.
“He has a wealth of football knowledge, including head coaching experience, so he really understands the big picture of everything that is going on within the program. Don was a part of our first Big Ten Championship and double-digit win season in 2010 and was the person in charge during my absence that year. He did an absolutely incredible job leading the program when I was gone.
“As a person, he’s extremely loyal and has a strong sense of integrity and morals. He understands the Spartan values that we have in our program from having been here before and knowing our staff.
“Don will spend his time on a daily basis with the defensive backs and will bring a different perspective into the room, which I think will be highly beneficial to the defensive staff. He will also serve as a conduit between our offense and defense as a consultant, since he understands what we’re trying to do on the offensive side of the ball. As the freshmen head coach, I think it’s important to put people in positions of leadership, especially someone who has been a head coach before and can really connect with the players. I feel that our younger players will benefit from having another mentor who can help them adjust to all of the different aspects of playing at a collegiate level.”
Treadwell, who returns for his third stint with the Spartans after serving as wide receivers coach from 2000-02 and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach from 2007-10, has more than 30 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level. His coaching resume includes nine bowl appearances, four Division I-AA playoff appearances and a national championship. He has coached on the same staff with Dantonio on four previous occasions (Youngstown State, 1986-90; Cincinnati, 2004-06; Michigan State, 2000, 2007-10).
“I’m tremendously excited to rejoin and reconnect with the Spartan football family,” said Treadwell. “When I think back to my previous time at MSU, there are so many cherished memories; this is such a special place. All three of our kids graduated from East Lansing High School, which doesn’t happen in our profession too often, and two of our three kids hold MSU degrees. So this truly kind of a homecoming and an exciting opportunity that I’m really embracing.
“Experience is always a great teacher. I’ve always tried to pride myself on always being a student of the game. So even though you’re in a role as head coach in the past, it certainly gave me a broader perspective on seeing and appreciating the big picture. I think having been a head coach certainly made me a better assistant coach, and it will do the same here.
“You’re always studying defense as an offensive coach, because you almost have to be an expert to a degree to know what to do to attack it. Now you flip it over, and to really get in the room to hear what they’re doing and why, that’s just so exciting, because it’s new territory. It will confirm some things, but it will take me to a whole new level of understanding. Our defense has been at the top in the nation for a number of years, so to plug in from that perspective, learning from one of the best defensive minds in the country with Coach D, is exciting.
“Having served in a role as head coach, you can appreciate how important it is to guide those freshmen early and having a point person, even though Coach Dantonio provides shared leadership roles with each staff member. We all plug in together, but it’s also nice to have someone with a new 10th assistant to delegate a little bit more, so I’m certainly excited about that.”
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