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Report: Michigan State safeties coach Mike Tressel to become defensive coordinator at Cincinnati

January 18, 2021
<p>Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Mike Tressel motions to the team in the second quarter during the game against Central Michigan on Sept. 26, 2015, at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Chippewas, 30-10. Julia Nagy/The State News </p>

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Mike Tressel motions to the team in the second quarter during the game against Central Michigan on Sept. 26, 2015, at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Chippewas, 30-10. Julia Nagy/The State News

Photo by Julia Nagy | The State News

Michigan State Safeties Coach Mike Tressel has accepted a new job at the University of Cincinnati to become the defensive coordinator for Cincinnati Head Coach Luke Fickell according to a report from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.

Neither Michigan State or Cincinnati Athletics could be reached for a comment at the time this story was published.

Tressel served as the Spartans’ safeties coach for one season under Michigan State Head Coach Mel Tucker and served as former Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio’s defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2017. During that time he was a co-defensive coordinator with Harlon Barnett, before becoming the sole defensive coordinator in 2018 when Barnett departed for Florida State.

In addition, Tressel was Dantonio’s linebackers coach from 2007 to 2019 before becoming the safeties coach.

In his time at Michigan State, Tressel helped build some of the best defenses of Michigan State’s history including being ranked in the FBS Top 10 in total defense six times and the No. 1 rush defense in the FBS in 2014 and in 2018.

Tressel will be joining the Bearcats who are led by Fickell, someone who was considered a top contender for the Michigan State head coaching position prior to Tucker’s hiring.

This won’t be Tressel’s first stint in Cincinnati, as he was Dantonio’s linebackers and special teams coach during Dantonio’s tenure as head coach at Cincinnati.

The Bearcats will likely be one of the top five teams in the nation next season after bringing back a majority of their starters and coming up just short against Georgia in the Peach Bowl to finish the season.

Fickell and Tressel worked together under Dantonio at Ohio State when Dantonio once served as the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator and helped build a defense that won a title in 2002.

Tucker’s staff now only has two former assistants from the Dantonio era as Harlon Barnett, the cornerbacks coach, and Ron Burton, the defensive line coach, remain at Michigan State.

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