The New York Giants are expected to not make any more coaching hires for this offseason since it seems their staff roster is complete, but that could change if one member of the defensive staff ends up leaving to join Michigan State as a head coach. The Spartans are of course looking for their first new head coach in over a decade after the surprise retirement of Mark Dantonio, who had been in charge since the 2007 season, and they may look to the NFL ranks for a candidate.
The Giants have one assistant coach that was notable in past years for being a head coach at the college level: Bret Bielema, who was head coach at Wisconsin and Arkansas before moving to the NFL as a Patriots consultant and then as the defensive line coach for their defense which was one of the top performing in the league for a lot of the year.
His stint at Arkansas was far from a success story but with the excuse of playing in a hard SEC West existing and with newfound experience working under Bill Belichick, that might not keep Bielema out of the race to become the Michigan State head coach.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the job is also one that Bielema has interest in. It makes sense, of course – being a head coach at a major college program almost always beats being a position coach and assistant in the NFL.
And according to a source with knowledge of the situation, former Wisconsin and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has “definite” interest in succeeding Mark Dantonio, who retired Tuesday after 13 seasons.
If Bielema does end up taking the job, which isn’t a certainty as MSU will be evaluating a number of candidates and not necessarily going for Bielema, the Giants will have to find another candidate for the outside linebackers coach position before getting deeper into the offseason. Bielema is also listed as a senior defensive assistant, so depending on the specific nature of that role, a replacement may be needed for that position.
Giants fans may be unhappy to see that one of the team’s coaches could potentially leave already, but it’s not surprising – Joe Judge has put together a staff with a number of former head coaches, and at some point many of these figures will try to return to head coaching rather than remaining assistants long term. It’s just slightly surprising for this inherent problem to come up this soon.