Coordinator Pat Narduzzi's Spartans led the FBS in total defense and ranked No. 4 in scoring defense. (Al Goldis/AP)
Michigan State had the best defense in college football this season. It should come as no surprise that the Spartans also had the best assistant coach.
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was honored Tuesday as the recipient of the Frank Broyles Award, which is given to the nation's top assistant coach.
Narduzzi is in his seventh season with the Spartans, who finished 2013 with the country's top defense (248.2 yards per game). Michigan State held Ohio State to a season-low 374 yards in the Spartans' 34-24 upset victory in the Big Ten title game on Saturday.
UConn reportedly wants Narduzzi to be its next coach, but Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio told the Detroit Free Press that Narduzzi is happy in East Lansing.
“He’ll make a tremendous head coach,” Dantonio said of Narduzzi. “But at the same time, I know he’s extremely happy here, and I know our players love him and he loves our players. I went through the same thing. … I’d hate to lose Pat Narduzzi, but I’m in this and I didn’t want Jerel Worthy to go to the NFL. You know, that is the same type of thing. I didn’t want Le’Veon (Bell) to leave or (Will) Gholston to leave.
“When the opportunity comes and the opportunity is so good that you need to take it, then that’s when you take it. But it’s got to be the right opportunity, and Pat understands that and weighs those things out.”
Narduzzi's competition as finalists for the Broyles Award were Auburn
offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Baylor
offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, Duke
offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and Florida
State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.