Dantonio makes no secret he would like to model UC's renewed program after that of his mentor and OSU head coach Jim Tressel. "One of the things he was able to do was harness the human spirit," Dantonio said. "When you have a chance to grab those people and make them believe in themselves, then you have a chance to win on the football field."
UC athletics director Bob Goin announced 10-year-coach Rick Minter's dismissal Dec.1 following the Bearcats 5-7 season. Minter was 53-63-1 at UC and led the team to four bowl games.
"Going into the Big East, the stakes are higher," Goin told reporters. "There is no question about that. I have high expectations, and I want to meet those expectations. I want to give our kids a chance to win. The No. 1 ingredient in any success is its leadership. I want to identify a leader who can motivate and can give a vision to our football players of not only how they should behave but how they can win."
Goin reconvened the media on a happier note Dec. 23 to introduce his new leader in Dantonio.
"The university wanted a man that wanted us, one that will stay and build a solid program in the Big East," Goin said. "He is one who knows how to win. He has worked with winners and has been under pressure at the highest level."
Dantonio, 48, has compiled 23 seasons of coaching experience at the college level, including six years at Michigan State. He played college football as a defensive back for South Carolina in the late '70s.
Ten Big East questions for AD Bob Goin
Big East Web site