Mark Dantonio and Jim Tressel arrived together at Ohio State in 1983. Dantonio was a grad assistant and Tressel was the quarterbacks coach. A bond was quickly struck that still exists today.
Dantonio, 55, has always considered the 58-year-old Tressel as a mentor. That's why it wasn't a surprise when the Michigan State coach came to Tressel's defense, calling Tressel's resignation "very heart-wrenching for me and my family."
"To me, it's tragic and he's become a tragic hero," Dantonio said. "Usually tragic heroes have an ability to rise above it in the end, and that's what I'll look for."
When Tressel was named head coach at Younstown State in 1986, he brought Dantonio along as defensive coordinator. When Tressel moved to Ohio State in 2001, he brought Dantonio along for the same defensive coordinator position. Dantonio left in '04 to become the head coach at Cincinnati.
"That's a tough situation," Dantonio said. "He's done a lot of good for college football. Every person he's come in contact with as a player and coach, he's made a positive impact on their lives."