Mark Dantonio: Program Development, Defense & Special Teams



with Mark Dantonio; Michigan State University Head Coach;
2010 Big 10 Champions

Mark Dantonio has what he calls the “A-B-C’s” of each position and phase of football. These are the basic teaching fundamentals that must be covered. In this video he discusses a variety of aspects of Michigan State Football that have resulted in the success that the Spartans have experienced during his tenure as head coach. Coach Dantonio covers the A-B-C’s of leadership, defense and special teams as they are taught at Michigan State.

Learn how Coach Dantonio uses goals and a winning attitude to build team chemistry in his football program. You’ll discover the importance of a player-created mission statement, a unity council group, and a mentoring system all contribute to the Spartans’ success. He also gives presents a unique look at the dimensions and distances often overlooked on the football field – and how to emphasize these details with your players and take advantage of these concepts in defending against seam passing concepts.

A high emphasis and high standards in Special Teams are the keys to MSU’s success in this phase of football. Each segment of the kicking game, especially the punt, can change the field position battle of a football game. Learn the Special Teams philosophy of Spartan football, and how Special Teams are worked into the practice schedule. Coach Dantonio believes that the punt is the most important play in football, and you will see the Towel Drill to develop punt coverage as well as the Coverage Drill for covering a punt. In addition, you’ll see other special teams drills that can improve skills on a variety of units.

Coach Dantonio presents multiple ideas on football as he demonstrates how a winning tradition is emphasized in program philosophy, defense, and special teams. This video provides over-arching thoughts for any program and coaching details to build the skills of your players on defense and special teams. If you are just starting your coaching career or a seasoned veteran Dantonio will cover some aspect of the game that will make you a better coach.

Produced at the 2013 Charlotte (NC) Nike Coach of the Year Clinic.