EAST LANSING — Michigan State has announced the hiring of Butler Benton III, who played tailback for Mark Dantonio at Cincinnati and hails from Detroit.
Benton, 29, replaces former football operations assistant Ryan Manalac, who was recently hired to coach linebackers at Valparaiso.
Benton will report to director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell and football operations director Tim Allen.
According to the school release, Benton most recently served as the director of student-athlete enrichment at the University of New Orleans for 18 months.
Prior to that, Benton worked 15 months as the assistant director of player development, engagement and academic enhancement at Notre Dame. Benton’s role with the Irish was to assist in implementing programming to promote the intellectual, social and spiritual development of Notre Dame football players.
Benton’s resume also includes nearly two years as Kent State as internal operations assistant.
Benton rushed for 1,736 yards and 11 touchdowns at Cincinnati, his first three years under Dantonio before the head coach left the Bearcats to take over the Michigan State program following the 2006 season.
Benton played high school football at Detroit’s Martin Luther King where he was a three-time all-city selection and rushed for more than 3,000 yards.
Practice report: Dantonio was pleased with the retention at the team’s first practice Tuesday, the Spartans working out in shorts and helmets for 2 1/2 hours outside according to a release. “It’s quite apparent we have a lot of depth,” said Dantonio, who loses six first-team All-Big Ten players off last year’s team. “We’ve got a relatively young team, but there’s some experience.”
Press Box tickets: Fans can purchase tickets to watch the April 23 Green-White game from the press box for $75 each. The 100 tickets may be purchased online at msuspartans.com through April 12.