East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio had a mild heart attack and was hospitalized Sunday morning, shortly after calling an audacious fake field goal to beat Notre Dame in overtime.
The 54-year-old Dantonio, who coached defensive backs at Kansas University from 1991-1994, had surgery to put a stent in a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart. He’s expected to remain in the hospital a few more days, and offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will lead the team during Dantonio’s indefinite absence.
“This morning, in the very early hours, not long after the football game, coach Dantonio began experiencing some symptoms,” said Dr. Chris D’Haem, who performed the relatively common procedure to restore blood flow. “Fortunately, his heart damage is very minimal. He’s going to do very well, and we’re very optimistic he’ll have a full recovery.”
The Spartans defeated Notre Dame, 34-31, in a game that ended just before midnight Saturday night. After Michigan State lined up for a 46-yard field goal that could have forced a second overtime, holder Aaron Bates threw a pass to Charlie Gantt for a touchdown to win the game.
D’Haem said Dantonio began experiencing symptoms around 12:30 a.m., including a squeezing sensation in his chest.
“Fortunately, he got in in a very timely fashion,” D’Haem said.
The victory was among the signature moments of the young college football season.