Mark Staten will do a very good job handling the MSU offensive line. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Mark Staten- Offensive Line Coach

            Mark Staten is the perfect man for the Michigan State offensive line coaching job. Staten loves the grinding, tough philosophy that is at the heart of Spartan football. A Michigan native, the coach has a good combination of coaching and playing experience.

            Staten hails from Dowagiac, a small town of just over 6,000 in southwestern Michigan. A defensive tackle, Staten attended Miami (OH) University. After starting all four years (and earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education), Staten headed to the NFL. He spent parts of the 1993 and 1994 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (’93) and the New England Patriots (’93-’94). He was drafted by the World Football League in 1995 but suffered a career-ending knee injury.

In 2001, he became a graduate assistant at his alma mater. In 2002, he left Miami for another university just 117 miles down the road in Columbus: the Ohio State University. Staten coached at Ohio State for two years with Mark Dantonio (the defensive coordinator at the time) as a graduate assistant. Staten was on hand with Dantonio for the Buckeyes’ thrilling Fiesta Bowl win for the 2002 National Championship. He left, along with Coach Dantonio, for the University of Cincinnati in 2004. For the next three seasons, Staten served as the tight ends/tackles coach as well as the recruiting coordinator for the Bearcats. During his time with Cincinnati, Staten mentored current NFL tight end Brent Celek.

            Coach Staten joined the Michigan State family in 2006. Following Dantonio from Cincinnati, Staten became the team’s tight ends/tackles coach and the recruiting coordinator. Staten tutored current NFL tight end Kellen Davis as well as D.J. Young, Charlie Gantt, and Brian Linthicum. As recruiting coordinator, he oversaw three straight years of top 30 recruiting classes. He lured, and continues to lure, many recruits to East Lansing.

After serving four years as the tight ends/tackles coach and recruiting coordinator, Staten was promoted to the offensive line coach for the 2011 season. Coach Staten will be working to replace D.J. Young, J’Michael Deane, and John Stipek.

            The Spartan football philosophy is dear to Staten. He believes in hard-nosed, tough football. “Michigan State football has always been and always will be based on toughness… To this day this simple complex nine-letter word embodies what our program bases our everyday existence on… toughness,” said Staten.

Like Mark Dantonio, Staten believes in old-school football. This was evident in the way that Staten coached tight ends: “One of the things at the tight end position that we really go for is toughness. We go out there every day until the last vibration of the whistle.” Staten coaches his offensive line the same way, as we will more clearly see as the season arrives. At spring practice, Staten affirmed that his offensive line group is “tight-knit”. “They’re hard workers, but they’re team guys,” Staten stated.  “That’s what you want from the offensive line. You want a bunch of team guys.” There are many good, young players in the mix, as Staten has said: “It’s a lot of good guys competing for starting time.” He is very confident that the offensive line, and the team, has the potential to be “very, very good”.

            Staten is not merely a football coach. He is a husband, father, and member of the community. He participates in charity work, such as the Dapper Dads Challenge. Staten has devoted some of his time towards raising money for Sparrow Hospital in Lansing through the event.

Above all, for Staten coaching is not just an occupation: “Coaching for me is a passion and a love; a passion for teaching and a love for our players, my fellow coaches, and the great game of football.”