EAST LANSING (AP) – Two days after his father’s death, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio is looking forward to coaching his team in its season opener later this week.

Dantonio’s father, Justin, died at age 86 on Sunday. The coach had left the team recently to be with family in Zanesville, Ohio, but he was back for his weekly news conference Tuesday. Dantonio says he was “blessed” to be with his father during the final days of his life, and his father would want him to “press forward” now.

After returning to Ohio for funeral services this week, Dantonio is expected to coach the 17th-ranked Spartans when they open the season against Youngstown State on Friday night.

   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)



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