Former Michigan State coach Denny Stolz died on Thursday, the school announced. He was 89. No cause of death was revealed. Stolz also coached Division I schools Bowling Green and San Diego State while compiling a 91-77-2 record in 15 seasons.
Stolz was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1974 in his second season leading the Spartans. The team finished 7-3-1 and recorded a memorable 16-13 victory over No. 1 Ohio State.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Stolz and his family,” former Michigan State head 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 went 19-13-1 in three seasons with Michigan State. He resigned in March 1976 when requested after the school was placed on three years NCAA probation for recruiting and fundraising violations.
Stolz resurfaced at Bowling Green and went 56-45-1 over nine seasons from 1977-85. He won Mid-American Conference titles in 1982 and 1985 and was named league Coach of the Year both times.
Stolz departed for San Diego State and guided the program to the 1986 Western Athletic Conference title and the school’s lone Holiday Bowl appearance. He again was named conference Coach of the Year, but the Aztecs won just eight games over the next two seasons. Stolz was fired with a 16-19 overall record and reassigned to be the school’s men’s golf coach.
San Diego State didn’t win or share another football title until the Rocky Long-led program shared the Mountain West crown in 2012 with Boise State and Fresno State.
–Field Level Media