September 19, 2010
Professionally, Saturday night may have been the best that Mark Dantonio has had in four years on a Michigan State sideline, thanks to the do-or-die fake field goal he called to beat Notre Dame in overtime. The call pushed the Spartans to 3-0 for the year in the most dramatic possible fashion, and may be the first time anyone has actually seen Dantonio crack a smile in public.
Personally, though, the "pretty good night" predicted by ABC's Brad Nessler quickly descended into a nightmare when Dantonio suffered an apparent heart attack in the immediate aftermath of the win:
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Shortly after Michigan State's 34-31 overtime victory over Notre Dame, Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio was admitted to the Sparrow Hospital Emergency Room early Sunday morning, with symptoms consistent with a heart attack.
Dr. Chris D'Haem, DO, an interventional cardiologist with Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute (TCI) and Sparrow, performed a cardiac catheterization procedure on Dantonio. This "relatively common" procedure used a small, metallic stent to open a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart.
"The procedure was successful and blood flow to the heart muscle was restored," Dr. D'Haem said. "I'm very pleased with the outcome of the procedure. Coach Dantonio is resting comfortably following his procedure and is expected to make a full recovery. "He is young, in excellent shape, and the damage to his heart was minimal. Coach Dantonio made the right decision to come in and get checked out immediately."
Dantonio will remain hospitalized for a few days, followed by an undetermined leave of absence. In the meantime, his day-to-day duties will fall to longtime assistant Don Treadwell, who first worked with Dantonio as a fellow assistant under Jim Tressel at Youngstown State, later joining Dantonio on Nick Saban's staff at Michigan State in 2000 and hooking up with Dantonio again as his offensive coordinator at Cincinnati before following his boss to Michigan State.
Only at perpetually star-crossed Michigan State could the other shoe fall so hard on a big win, so quickly. Best wishes to Dantonio for a speedy recovery and return.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.