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February 16, 2013

Roushar takes position with Saints

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar has accepted a position to be the running backs coach of the New Orleans Saints. The job re-unites Roushar with current Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. Roushar and Payton worked together back in 1996 on the staff of the University of Illinois.

"The New Orleans Saints and Michigan State are built on similar models, with a focus on character and people. New Orleans has won a Super Bowl, and over the last five years, the Saints have been one of the winningest organizations in the NFL. I've had an opportunity to work for Mark Dantonio - in my opinion, the best college football coach in America - for the last eight years, including the last six seasons at Michigan State. Now, I have an opportunity to work for arguably the best coach in the NFL, in Sean Payton. Professionally, this is an opportunity I simply couldn't pass up. Now as a running backs coach, I have the chance to learn the interworking of the NFL."

Roushar went on to talk about his time at Michigan State, and his expectations for the Spartans in 2013.

"Michigan State is poised to have a tremendous year in 2013. I've been incredibly blessed to have worked alongside Coach Dantonio, a talented coaching staff and gifted players. The last six years at Michigan State have been quite rewarding: six-straight bowl appearances, back-to-back 11-wins seasons including a Big Ten Championship and a Legends Division title, and four-straight victories over Michigan. It's difficult to leave because it has been quite a ride, but professional opportunities like this are indeed rare. Coach Dantonio has built something special - it's a program that pursues excellence in all aspects, not only on the field competing for championships, but also off the field in the classroom and in the community."

Roushar drew the brunt of criticism from Spartans fans after the offense struggled in 2012. Michigan State finished 95th nationally in total offense and 108th in scoring despite the presence of All-American running back LeVeon Bell. The Spartans offense performed very well in 2011 with the team going 11-3.

Head Coach Mark Dantonio had the following to say about Coach Roushar.

"Dan Roushar has been a loyal and dedicated assistant for the last eight years, including the past six seasons at Michigan State. He's a great teacher and a tireless recruiter. Dan certainly played a critical role in helping build a solid foundation here at Michigan State. We're grateful for the effort and energy he's invested in our program.

He's excited about being presented with the opportunity to coach the game at its highest level. We're thrilled for Dan and his family, and we wish him nothing but the best in the NFL."

The departure of Coach Roushar brings several questions up when it comes to the Spartan staff. Will Coach Dantonio promote from within and look for a position coach to fill the vacated role? Or will he look for a proven offensive coordinator to assume the responsibilities Coach Roushar had?

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