Pat Narduzzi unlikely to leave Michigan State for UConn, according to report

Pat Narduzzi and head coach Mark Dantonio, as photographed from Mars. - Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

The coach of the country's best defense and the new Broyles Award winner could be staying at Michigan State.

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is unlikely to accept the vacant UConn head coaching job, according to coaching expert Scott Roussel of FootballScoop.com

After Paul Pasqualoni was fired just four games into the season, UConn had been led by interim head coach T.J. Weist, who lost five consecutive games to start, but did rebound to win the last three of the year over Temple, Rutgers and Memphis, respectively.

While it looks like Narduzzi won't be leaving -- or leaving for UConn, at least -- his stock has never been higher, especially after his defense did to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game what none other could in 24 previous tries -- stop the Buckeyes and emerge victorious.

Narduzzi's coaching career began at Miami (Ohio) as a graduate assistant and wide receivers coach in the early 1990s. He returned to his alma mater, Rhode Island, in 1993 and spent seven years with the Rams' defensive staff as linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.

In 2000, Narduzzi joined Bob Novak's staff at Northern Illinois as a linebackers coach, and spent three seasons with the Huskies before being returning to Miami as defensive coordinator. Narduzzi's stay in Oxford was short: The following season, Mark Dantonio hired him as his defensive coordinator at Cincinnati. Narduzzi was among the finalists for the Bearcats' head coaching position when Dantonio left for Michigan State, but when Brian Kelly got the job, Narduzzi opted to join Dantonio in East Lansing.

After some early struggles, Narduzzi has consistently fielded one of the nation's top defenses in East Lansing. In 2011, the Spartans ranked fifth nationally in total defense and ninth in scoring defense. In 2012, Michigan State improved to fourth in the nation in total defense, while ranking 10th in scoring. This year, Narduzzi's defense was even better, finishing the season first in total defense and fourth in scoring.

Narduzzi's father, Bill Narduzzi, spent 11 years as head coach at Youngstown State. The younger Narduzzi spent one season playing for his dad before transferring to Rhode Island, where he played linebacker.

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