Mark Dantonio announced today that former Spartan and NFL linebacker Chuck Bullough has been named as the team’s defensive ends coach. This was first reported Jan. 22 by Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Bullough said on his return to Michigan State. “I started under Coach Dantonio when I became a graduate assistant here (1997), then you go out into the profession and have a chance to coach at a lot of great places. Eventually, you want to come back home, and I’m very fortunate to be coming home to the same coach that I started with.”
Bullough has 22 years of coaching experience in both the NFL and in college, in which he served as defensive coordinator for UCLA and Syracuse. He spent five years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins and was a four-year letterwinner at MSU from 1988-91. Bullough still holds the single-season tackles record with 175 in 1991.
“We’re very excited to have Chuck Bullough back at Michigan State,” Dantonio said. “He was an outstanding player here for George Perles, and the rest of his family bleeds green as well. He has a tremendous wealth of football knowledge, having played and coached in the NFL, and also coordinating at two major conference schools. He’s a front-seven coach with a very impressive resume.”
Bullough has spent the past two seasons coaching the defensive line at Eastern Michigan. In his time at EMU, his players earned All-Mid American Conference honors four times, including back-to-back first-team selections. The Eagles finished in the FBS top-40 in total defense in his two years there and ranked second in the MAC in total defense in 2017, allowing 363.9 yards per game.
In his time at Syracuse as DC, he helped mold an Orange defense that ranked in the FBS top-35 in both rushing and passing defense in two of his three years. In 2013, the Orange finished 18th in sacks with 2.85 per game, as well as ranking 24th in run defense and 33rd in total defense. In 2014, his defense was one of four FBS teams to allow fewer than 10 rushing touchdowns on the year.
The Spartans lose just one player from the defensive line and bring back Kenny Willekes, who led the team in sacks with seven on the year. MSU ranked 55th in the nation in total sacks, getting to the quarterback 2.15 times per game. MSU’s defense ranked seventh in the country in total defense, surrendering just 297.6 yards per outing.
With the hiring, Bullough fills Dantonio’s tenth and final spot on his coaching staff. Dantonio also hired Paul Haynes and Don Treadwell as new assistant coaches two weeks ago.