Spartan Nation EXCLUSIVE: Former Spartan QB and Augustana Assistant John Van Dam Talks About Coach Brad Salem. The New MSU RB Coach!

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Spartan Nation was able to catch up to former MSU QB John Van Dam, who has gone on to coach tight ends at Augustana. The school that new RB coach Brad Salem left as head coach to come to MSU.


Spartan John Van Dam worked for Salem and gave some good thoughts on him.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartan John Van Dam worked for Salem and gave some good thoughts on him. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

So we put some questions to John, and asked him to tell us what he is up to, and what MSU can expect with new running backs coach Brad Salem, especially in terms of recruiting and style of coaching and he didn’t disappoint. Some may also remember his father Gary was the recruiting coordinator and coached under George Perles at one time. Gary and Hondo both also volunteer to help Cystic Fibrosis of Michigan.


Here is what John had to say:


“Just finished up my Masters, been out of East Lansing for almost 2 years. I miss it. It has been a little crazy around here with Coach Salem moving on and with our Defensive coordinator taking over. It is always tough when there is change and in the coaching business you hope you still have a job.


While coach Salem was at MSU as a graduate assistant my dad was there as a full time coach, so when it was my turn to look for a job and Coach Salem allowed me to come to Augustana and coach the TEs.


Brad Salem is a player's coach; he will do anything for his players. We as a staff at Augustana focused greatly on recruiting year round. Like they say, recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it every day you look like a bum. Coach Salem made recruits feel welcomed here at Augustana. He is a road warrior and a great recruiter.


He offered every one of our scholarship players at their house. This means in January Coach Salem was never home, doing things the right way to prove to those kids how important they were to us. He will recruit just as hard for the Spartans, and his brother coaches for Central Florida and he knows the state of Florida well. Having someone like Coach Salem recruiting Florida will be huge for the Spartans.”


Coach Salem will be a great compliment to the disciplined ways of Mark Dantonio. The players play hard and determined for Coach Salem, he gets everything out of his guys.


Coach Salem and Coach Dantonio have the same viewpoints on the importance of family and for the team to become and play as one. I believe Coach Salem will do an excellent job at Michigan State.  He is a great guy. Go Green!”



Thanks to John Van Dam again for taking the time and giving the Spartan Nation some great information. In fact, the more I hear about Salem, the more this move by Coach Dantonio makes sense. No matter where Coach Salem recruits, he is going to do a good job and his coaching style will fit right in.