Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio is stepping down as the head football coach of Michigan State University.

Dantonio has led the Spartans for more than 10 years.

He announced his decision in a letter to the Spartan community.

"Today marks one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever made here at Michigan State," the letter read.

In the letter, Dantonio thanked fans, alumni, administration, as well as current and past players and coaches for their support.

"You have truly helped make my dreams come true," Dantonio said in the letter.

He said he felt it is time for change.

"I have told our players on many occasions that 'Michigan State is bigger than any one person. Someday there will be someone else here talking to you from this podium.' That day has come," Dantonio said in the letter.

He said he feels the sacrifices he made during his 13 years with the football program must now become his priority.

Dantonio also said he will stay with the athletic department in a role involving "special projects."

Dantonio ended the letter with "It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as the head football coach at Michigan State University. I will forever be a Spartan."

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