Bumping into Coaches Izzo and Dantonio

Submitted by GratefulBlue on May 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 AM

This past weekend, a family member of mine got hitched up at Bay Harbor in Petoskey. My girlfriend and I stayed at the hotel at Bay Harbor, and had the good fortune to be situated on the same floor as both Coach Izzo and Coach Dantonio. Apparently they were Up North for some sort of alumni event (Sparties rocking full green regalia littered the resort).

Long story short, my gf and I ended up on the elevator with them both on Friday evening, and had about 45 seconds to say hello. I let them know I was a Michigan grad, but my girlfriend is a former Spartan, so we had some common ground for peaceable conversation. Izzo was extremely friendly and classy. He shook hands warmly, chatted us up and let us know why he and Dantonio were at Bay Harbor, and generally seemed like the quality guy he's purported to be.

Dantonio, on the other hand, was sullen and unpleasant. He said almost nothing, and scowled a bit when I mentioned I was a Wolverine. He barely made eye contact with either me or my girlfriend when we shook hands, and it took some restraint for me not to ask him how recruiting's going. Instead, as we stepped off the elevator, I told Izzo that, even as a Michigan fan, I respected the hell out of the job he's done in East Lansing, and appreciated the positive role he's played both for MSU and for the state. I said nothing to Dantonio.

Nothing too significant here, just thought the MGoCommunity might appreciate the anecdote.



May 23rd, 2011 at 3:00 PM ^

Mark Dantonio has no national reputation. The program he coaches isn't relevant enough. Even a story as salacious as the frat house beatdown wasn't big enough to crack espn.com's articles listed on its front page (residing instead only on the college football page).

His local rep can be almost totally attributed to the contrast he enjoyed with Rich Rodriguez in a state that can justifiably be called xenophobic, he being a deep-rooted midwesterner and his rival being a guy with a funny accent.


May 23rd, 2011 at 3:13 PM ^

That's funny.

I've seen MSU on at least 2 different national broadcasts in the past year in which the talking heads raved about how he was a strict disciplinarian and a man of god.

As a matter of fact, I'm positive you saw one of them, because it was this year's Michigan/MSU game.

Six Zero

May 23rd, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

looked over at your gf and said "Oh, by the way, remind me to call my little brother when we get back.  I forgot that my little brother called and I should get back to him.  You know how my little brother gets if I don't call him back.  He is my little brother, after all."

And yes, I realize this is tasteless and rude.  But it's Dantonio.


May 23rd, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

Dantonio and Izzo couldn't be more different.  Personally I think Dantonio is a jerk, but most people who know him say he is just socially awkward.  I've seen him at events, in rooms filled with MSU supporters, hardly say a peep to anyone. 


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

I didn't appreciate until watching some of RR's struggles at U of M (and I do not mean to start that discussion) just how important being a politician is for a coach at a big-time program.  Some people just aren't good at that - or at least they aren't good at doing it in some circumstances. 


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

I'm also a Michigan grad, but I'm from Okemos, right outside of East Lansing. Like most of us, I have a ton of MSU friends, so I have some Kevin Bacon style friend of a friend relationships with Danonio and Izzo. Izzo is actually a pretty good friend of my uncle, and I hear nothing but great stories about him. He also is an extremely approachable, friendly man, when I 've met him on occassion.

A couple years ago, I went to a fundraiser for a girl with cancer, at the MSU football stadium. Dantonio was the guest speaker. During his speech, he referred to the girl incorrectly (by name), and I thought that was a bit strange. He also seems to be generally  unhappy, but maybe that's his public persona. I obviously don't know him personally.

Than again, I'd be angry too, if I had to compete with Hoke, and his recruiting excellence!


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

Sort of OT I know but i had the occasion to meet and talk to Tressel several years ago at a banquet here in Northern Ohio.  Sad to say I thought i understood how he was able to lock down the borders of the state in recruiting - he was very nice and hospitable to me and i was flying the full colors (maize n blue embossed M polo) while we spoke.

Now i find out he had even powerful weapons in his recruiting arsenal.


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

I don't know if it would have been possible to ask the question about recruiting without smiling knowingly immediately after.  That could have sparked an incident, or at least given Dantonio a chance to dress you down in front of your gf, which obviously would have sucked.  However, there probably was a 50% chance that if the two of you had exchanged unpleasantries, it would have ended with something like:

MD:  "You don't know what you're talking about you little shit!"
GB:  "I know you can't win a recruiting head-to-head right now vs. Coach Hoke."
MD:  "This is ridiculous.  I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast!"
GB:  "You eat pieces of shit for breakfast!?"
Elevator door opens, you walk out with him still pointing his finger at you.



King Douche Ornery

May 23rd, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

First, who gives a rat's arse IF (and I do mean IF) you are a "Michigan grad"--really, what the heck does this have to do with Dantonio?

What's with you guys that go out and announce the size of your winky as if anyone anywhere would care?

Dantonio probably knew you were full of crap the minute "I'm a Michigan grad" spewed from your rude piehole.

I wish you would have asked him about recruiting, and then he would have beat the hell out of you.


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^


[awr-nuh-ree] Show IPA

–adjective, -ner·i·er, -ner·i·est. Dialect .


ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper: No one can get along with my ornery cousin.

stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.

low or vile.


inferior or common; ordinary.  
So very well named........


May 23rd, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

I'd ASS-U-ME that MD is an introvert, I'm not defending him but I know how painful It can be to talk to people. Having said that I still have wish only bad things for his program.



May 23rd, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

but that doesn't give you the right to be a douchebag to people who wants to strike up converstation with you no matter how hard it is to talk to people.  From all account from what I hear about Dantonio, he is an ass-hat.


May 23rd, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

MD made his bed by being a HC, I give two shits if he an Introvert or a ra-tard, whatever, that’s MSU's problem.

Sad thing is if I was in that elevator I wouldn't of said a word to either of them, I'm sure my wife would say something (she would talk to a tree stump) and I would join in IF needed. Now if Bo was in that elevator security would have to peel me off his leg.


May 23rd, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

I'm an introvert too, but I still can make small talk and be cordial amongst strangers when the situation call for it.  Lloyd Carr is a guy who I'd describe as an introvert. 

Honestly, from the description from the OP, Dantonio sounds more anti-social than introverted, which for a head coach, is kind of a bad combination.


May 23rd, 2011 at 1:00 PM ^

Unless I'm with friends, talking in an elevator isn't something I'm really interested in doing. Even if I were in an elevator with Izzo and Dantonio, I probably wouldn't have said a word.