After weeks of speculation, Michigan State football coach Jonathan Smith has officially found his defensive coordinator.
The Spartans are reportedly hiring Joe Rossi from Minnesota.
The hire has kind of shocked everyone as his name came seemingly out of left field and he’s one of the better coordinators in college football.
Obviously Jonathan Smith wanted to bring Trent Bray with him to East Lansing but the Oregon State defensive coordinator stayed in Corvallis and was promoted to head coach. He’s since taken shots at Smith’s decision (cue the eye rolls) and that led to the new Spartan head coach to expanding his search for the next defensive coordinator.
Rossi was a strong option even though many rumors had Jimmy Lake coming to East Lansing to be Smith’s defensive coordinator — many were not thrilled about that idea.
The resume that Rossi has speaks for itself.
What does Joe Rossi’s resume say?
The 44-year-old defensive coordinator has been on Big Ten coaching staffs for over a decade, dating back to 2012 when he was at Rutgers. He’s been the defensive coordinator at Minnesota since 2019 and all he’s done has been put together a few top-10 defenses in five years.
In fact, Minnesota has had a top-10 defense in three of the past five years under Rossi.
This year hasn’t been so kind as the Gophers’ defense ranked just 58th nationally, but that was his worst year and it would’ve been Scottie Hazelton’s best.
And Rossi has produced plenty of NFL talent in Minneapolis.
This is a fantastic hire by Smith.