September 19th, 2010
03:56 PM ET

Coach suffers heart attack after trick play in OT

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio is expected to remain in a hospital for a few days.

[Updated at 6:27 p.m.] Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio is expected to recover fully from a heart attack that he suffered shortly after his team's trick-play overtime victory against Notre Dame, a cardiologist who treated him said at a news conference Sunday.

Dantonio began experiencing chest discomfort shortly after Michigan State's dramatic 34-31 victory in East Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday night, and went to Lansing's Sparrow Hospital early Sunday morning, Dr. Chris D'Haem said.

"We found one of the vessels that feed blood to his heart muscle to be closed," and D'Haem used a stent "to hold the vessel open and re-establish blood flow to the heart muscle," the doctor said.

"Fortunately, his heart damage was very minimal. I think he's going to do very well. I remain very optimistic for his full recovery," D'Haem said.

Dantonio, 54, was resting comfortably Sunday and is expected to stay at Sparrow Hospital for a few days for monitoring, Michigan State said in a statement.

Dantonio was admitted to the hospital shortly after Michigan State used a fake field goal attempt to beat Notre Dame in East Lansing on Saturday night.

The winning play came after Notre Dame scored a field goal in its overtime possession to take a 31-28 lead. It was fourth down during Michigan State's overtime possession, with the Spartans lined up for an apparent 46-yard field goal attempt. Placekick holder Aaron Bates, who also is the Spartans' punter, took the snap, stood and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt.

The winning gamble pushed Michigan State's record to 3-0. Notre Dame fell to 1-2.

D'Haem was asked whether such a stressful, close game could have triggered the heart attack.

"Certainly stress doesn't cause coronary heart disease, but as we all know, very emotionally or physically stressful events can be the trigger," D'Haem said.

Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will lead the team while Dantonio recovers.

"Mark Dantonio is our head coach," MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis said in the school's statement. "Throughout his recovery process, offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will assume the day-to-day responsibilities of the head coach. This is a time for Spartan Nation to rally around Coach D and the football program. We all look forward to his return to the sidelines.

"The thoughts of the entire Spartan family are with Coach D, his wife Becky and his daughters Kristen and Lauren."

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Filed under: Michigan • Sports
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Jo

    There's always at least one idiot who has to say "Why is this news" and "I blame Obama" If they really knew how moronic they look! LOL. You know they go to every article and write the same thing, over and over and over...
    Morons aside, I'm glad this guy wasn't to bad off.

    September 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jasmine1

    You're all MORONS! Wish the coach a speedy recovery, thank the doctors for their work, and keep the coach and his family in your thoughts!!!!

    September 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. T.

    played for Coach D when he was @ Ohio State - GREAT coach and an even BETTER man.
    Speedy recovery to a solid guy!

    September 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. T.

    thoughts AND PRAYERS to Coach D and his wife and 2 girls .

    September 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tonyo

    Obama is an amateur.

    September 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Hawking knows more than you

      You're a tonyo, which is significantly worse.

      September 20, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. chris h

    sheesh... Obamacare will be great with all of these doctors who don't know anatomy. I'm going to stick to Grey's and swoon over the hottie doctors.

    September 20, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Old Gray Captain

    Hey kids, it's only a game.

    Nothing to have a heart attack over.

    Let's get a view of the big picture.

    Life's too sort.

    September 20, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Old Gray Captain

    If any of this drivel is aimed at me, been there, done that with a triple heart bypass,

    Again, I state that NOTHING is worth having a heart attack over, especially something as trivial as a football game.

    September 20, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. sashimislinger

    College football should ban coaching before someone does die.

    September 20, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. I like turtles

    That trick play was so amazing, I- HNNNNGG

    September 20, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • aorta sock you one

      You little...HHKKKKnnnnhhhhhh!

      September 20, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. I think I may have one too

    oh, the pain.....ulp!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dr. Dave

    Clearly this is Obama's fault, the economy is in ruins, most of these players and coaches won't have a job in a couple years because none of us will have money to attend football games, or to send College Endowment checks out. Thanks for the Democrats for the last 4 years of economic ruin (yes remember the Dems took the checkbook over 4 years ago not 2 years ago like CNN always implies on the air).

    September 20, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. phil

    His cholesterol level had probably been artificially lowered to the point where acid from his diet was able to attack his heart with little cholesterol protecting it.. Go to any old-age home and you see this daily. Virtually all healthy, active senior citizens have what's been termed (lately) "high cholesterol Lowering cholesterol artificially became popular about the time surgeons thru much practice, became able to perform a by-pass in 30 minutes.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
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