Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, December 27, 2014

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio announced on Saturday the restructuring of his defensive staff for the 2015 season.

Secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressel, who have both been on Dantonio?s staff since his arrival at MSU in 2007, have been promoted to co-defensive coordinators. Barnett also has been named assistant head coach.

Barnett and Tressel are filling the position left by former assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who was introduced as the new head coach at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday. Dantonio previously announced that Narduzzi will be coaching in his final game at MSU in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic against Baylor on Thursday, Jan. 1.

?It?s important to move the process forward, and I feel very comfortable in naming Harlon Barnett assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator and Mike Tressel co-defensive coordinator,? Dantonio said. ?Harlon and Mike have been on my staff together for 11 years, including the past eight years at Michigan State. They both have had a ton of input and shared a lot of ideas with Pat Narduzzi over the years. The co-appointment ensures continuity in terms of player relationships, defensive concepts and terminology.

?Both Harlon and Mike have done a tremendous job in the individual day-to-day development of our players. Their relationships with our players are strong and true. I have a strong personal relationship with those two, and they will do an outstanding job in their new roles while continuing the legacy Michigan State has built on defense.

?I?m excited about maintaining our tradition of playing outstanding defense while continuing our quest for another Big Ten Championship.?

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