Former Michigan State football coach Denny Stolz died on Thursday at 89, the university announced on Friday.
Stolz was 19-13-1 in three seasons (1973-75) leading the Spartans and was named the Big Ten coach of the year in 1974. Stolz joined the Michigan State staff in 1971 and served as the defensive coordinator for the fin al two seasons of Duffy Daugherty’s career before being appointed the program’s 16th head coach.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Stolz and his family,” former Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “I got to know Denny over the years as head coach and always enjoyed our time together. I invited him to practices, and he attended games for many years at Spartan Stadium. He really enjoyed seeing his former players at our golf outings. He was a true Spartan.”
Stolz compiled a 126-92-2 record in 21 seasons as a coach, including stops at Michigan State, Bowling Green, San Diego State and Alma College. In addition to his coach of the year honors in the Big Ten, he earned similar recognition in the Mid-American Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
A standout athlete at Mason High, Stolz is a member of the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame. He began his college coaching career at his alma mater, Alma, and went 35-15 in six seasons (1965-70), leading the Scots to three MIAA titles (1967, 1968, 1970) and two undefeated seasons (8-0 in both 1967 and 1968).
After Michigan State, Stolz coached for nine seasons (1977-85) at Bowling Green, going 56-45-1 overall and 49-26-1 in Mid-American Conference play, including two conference titles (1982, 1985). Stolz finished his career at San Diego State and won a Western Athletic Conference title in his first season with the Aztecs, going 7-1 in league action and 8-4 overall while earning a berth in the Holiday Bowl. He was 16-19 overall in three seasons at SDSU (1986-88).
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