DETROIT - Michigan State is close to hiring Cincinnati's Mark Dantonio as its football coach, with an official telling The Associated Press on Sunday night that university president Lou Anna Simon will recommend the move to the board of trustees.
The official, who has knowledge of the latest developments in the coaching search, spoke on condition of anonymity because Michigan State had not yet made an announcement. The school only said that is has scheduled a special board of trustees meeting for Monday morning.
Dantonio, a former Spartans assistant, would succeed the fired John L. Smith.
Cincinnati athletic director Mike Thomas knew Dantonio was a candidate for the Michigan State job, Bearcats spokesman Tom Hathaway said late Sunday.
"He was aware that Dantonio was being interviewed today," Hathaway said.
Dantonio is in his third year as Cincinnati's head coach. He has an 18-17 record, including a 7-5 mark this season.
The Spartans finished 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the Big Ten, losing eight of their last nine games. Smith had a 22-26 record in four seasons.