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Pat Narduzzi to Pitt: Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio responds to Narduzzi hiring

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt has its new head football coach in former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Narduzzi was introduced in a press conference on Friday and afterwards, current Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio reacted to his loss.

"I want to congratulate Pat Narduzzi on his appointment as head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Pat has been my defensive coordinator for the last 11 years, including the past eight seasons here at Michigan State. He’s one of five coaches who have been here from the start (at MSU since 2007), so he’s played an integral part in helping to build the foundation of our program.

"The success we’ve enjoyed over the last eight seasons, both collectively and on the defensive side of the football, has afforded Pat with this opportunity to become a head coach in a Power 5 Conference. That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and he’ll do an outstanding job at Pittsburgh. We wish him nothing but the best.

"Following today’s press conference in Pittsburgh, Pat will rejoin the Spartans and serve as our defensive coordinator for one last game, in the Cotton Bowl against Baylor. It’s an opportunity for Pat to finish what he started with this senior class and help launch his program at Pittsburgh.

"As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, staff continuity has been a cornerstone for our sustained success at Michigan State, and it will remain a vital constant as we continue to move forward."

Nothing 'breaking' here, obviously, but Narduzzi is clearly leaving on good terms. And as I mentioned, Dantonio confirms that Narduzzi will be sticking around for a little while, in order to coach the Spartans' defense in their Cotton Bowl game against Baylor next week.

Narduzzi has been an integral part in the success Dantonio had. People don't always realize that the pair were together even before their days at Michigan State - Narduzzi served as his defensive coordinator at Cincinnati.

Dantonio will certainly miss him and the next question now becomes if he can retain the rest of his staff. There have been numerous rumors that Narduzzi wants to pluck a few coaches from Dantonio's staff, and if he can offer them a promotion, it's not far-fetched that a few may join him.

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