South Carolina Football: Former Gamecock chosen for College Football Hall of Fame

South Carolina football alum Mark Dantonio was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, primarily for his work as the head coach at Cincinnati and Michigan State.

Former South Carolina football player Mark Dantonio made the College Football Hall of Fame for his coaching career
Former South Carolina football player Mark Dantonio made the College Football Hall of Fame for his coaching career / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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In a strange bit of irony, on the day that the Michigan Wolverines play for the College Football Playoff National Championship, one of the Wolverines' biggest rivals (and biggest thorns) was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Former South Carolina football alum Mark Dantonio received the honor, primarily for his work as the head coach at Cincinnati and Michigan State.

As the headman of the Michigan State program, Dantonio compiled an 8-5 record against the rival Wolverines, won three Big 10 titles (compared to 0 from Michigan during the same stretch), and won six bowl games (compared to just 3 from Michigan during the same stretch).

Prior to being in charge in East Lansing, Dantonio took over a horrible Cincinnati program that had one bowl win in its history. He guided the Bearcats to two bowl victories in three years and parlayed that into the Spartans job.

Before being at Cincinnati, Dantonio was an assistant coach for 24 years, including in 2001 when his Ohio State Buckeyes (he was the defensive coordinator) lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl.

Before getting into coaching, Dantonio was a member of the South Carolina football program. A reserve defensive back under head coach Jim Carlen (who was also a nominee to the College Football Hall of Fame this year), Mark Dantonio and his brother John both moved down from Ohio to play for the Gamecock defense.

Dantonio will go into the College Football Hall of Fame alongside:

Players Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State), Paul Cameron (UCLA), Tim Couch (Kentucky), Warrick Dunn (Florida State), Armanti Edwards (Appalachian State), Deon Figures (Colorado), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh), Toby Gerhart (Stanford), Dan Hampson (Arkansas), Steve Hutchinson (Michigan), Antonio Langham (Alabama), Randy Moss (Florida State, Marshall), Julius Peppers (North Carolina), Paul Posluszny (Penn State), Dewey Selmon (Oklahoma), Alex Smith (Utah), Kevin Smith (Texas A&M), Chris Ward (Ohio State), and Danny Woodhead (Chadron State).

And coaches Danny Hale (West Chester, Bloomsburg) and Frank Solich (Nebraska, Ohio).

Next. South Carolina Football: Rankings the top head coaches in Gamecock history. South Carolina Football: Rankings the top head coaches in Gamecock history. dark