New Spartans offensive coordinator Dan Roushar will bring new attitude to offense

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The Spartan Nation is thrilled for Coach Tread as he moves on to Miami, but Roushar will do a great job at the helm.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

The Spartan Nation is thrilled for Coach Tread as he moves on to Miami, but Roushar will do a great job at the helm. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.




With basketball now complete and football now on the minds of most in East Lansing, all eyes are on new offensive coordinator Dan Roushar.


Roushar, who served as Mark Dantonio’s offensive line coach for two years at Cincinnati before spending all of his years since at Michigan State, is replacing Don Treadwell as the new offensive guru. Treadwell left his post as coordinator to accept the head coaching position at Miami-Ohio, so promoting within was a goal of Dantonio’s since he heard of Treadwell’s departure.


What does this mean for the offense in terms of changes and recruiting in the years ahead? Well, first off, promoting somebody who has been in the program for a while is a green light for high school athletes who excel on the offensive side of the ball. Continuity is key, and with someone like Roushar understanding the offense and being well-acquainted with his personnel, the offense should only continue to improve and be among the best in the Big Ten.


But when you talk about fundamental changes in the offensive scheme, especially those which involve play-calling and using different sets to attack the opposition, Roushar is expected to turn the tables as opposed to what Treadwell did while he was here.


Treadwell was a solid coordinator, no doubt, but a knock against him by Spartan Nation was that he was too predictable. The Spartans would run on first down, and then maybe do a trick play like an end around before a pass would come on third down. This was not more evident than during the 2011 Capital Bowl against Alabama.


The Spartans could not muster much of anything against the vaunted Crimson Tide, and even Alabama coach Nick Saban had pinpointed the Spartans’ offensive gameplan days before the Capital One Bowl took place, saying, “They are stubborn and will keep trying to establish the run. If MSU does that, they will start slow. I look for MSU to pull out all the stops and come out with a lot of passes, short and mid range, and then try to go down the field. At the end of the game, the Spartans will have the balance they covet, but it starts in the air for the Spartans.”


Saban was right on the money with his analysis, with Michigan State attempting to tirelessly run the ball before falling behind by so many points that it was eventually too late. Roushar has told Spartan Nation that this year’s team will be “a little more down the field on the early downs in order to utilize what we have.” The Spartans have the quarterback, receivers, and running backs to make such aspirations a reality; how the team executes will be the make-or-break of how the offense is judged and, thus, the team as a whole.


Tom Izzo once said, “The hard part is not winning; it’s maintaining it.” The same can be said for the football program, especially as copious amounts of success and memorable plays surrounded the team and the university in their 2010 run. With Dantonio at the helm and Roushar being promoted from within, there is no reason why the team will not once again be competitive and vie for a Big Ten championship. The pieces are in place for more success, just as long as the right corrections are made to get over the hump and win the first bowl game during Dantonio’s reign as head honcho.