Mark Dantonio is arguably the most successful head football coach at Michigan State University's history. Last year, he became the coach with the most win to ever lead the program. He surpassed Hall of Fame coach Duffy Daugherty.

Overall, however, the last few years for Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans have yielded mixed results. Michigan State's 2019 season ended with a win in the Pinstripe Bowl. But weeks later, the football program is in need of a new head coach.

Suddenly resigned from the position

After nearly 15 years, Mark Dantonio stepped down as head coach of Michigan State's football team.

The abrupt move was apparently a shock to school authorities. The peak season of coaching vacancies being filled has long passed.

Dantonio's tenure featured many highs for Michigan State. The Spartans won three Big Ten Conference titles under Dantonio, as well as the 2013 Rose Bowl. The teams also appeared in the inaugural Championship Game for Big Ten Football, losing to the Wisconsin Badgers. In addition, the Spartans were invited to the College Football Playoff for the 2015 season. However, they would fail to score in a blowout loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

More recently, the program had less success. The 2016 season ended with only three wins for the Spartans. After a bounce-back in 2017, the last two seasons have produced mediocre results for Michigan State.

Dantonio was a defensive back at the University of South Carolina during the 1970s. His first coaching positions were with Ohio University and Purdue University. After a stop at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, he joined Ohio State University's coaching staff. Afterward, Dantonio worked at the University of Akron, Youngstown State University and the University of Kansas.

In 1995, Dantonio joined Michigan State for the first time as a defensive backs coach. After a return to Ohio State, Dantonio became the head coach at the University of Cincinnati. He spent three seasons there before being named Michigan State's head coach.

A number of candidates to replace him

According to the Lansing State Journal, Mike Tressel is taking over as the interim head coach.

Tressel has been an assistant under Dantonio since his first year as the Cincinnati head coach. He is also a nephew of Jim Tressel. The elder Tressel is currently the president of Youngstown State. A College Football Hall of Fame inductee, he was the head coach at Youngstown State and Ohio State.

Several possible candidates have been mentioned as possible replacements for Dantonio. Current Cincinnati and former Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell is a particular favorite, per MSN.