Mike Tressel has been as much a part of the Michigan State football program as the Sparty mascot for more than a decade. The longtime assistant has been on staff since 2007 and was a big reason behind so much success in East Lansing.

The 2020 season marked the final one for Tressel in East Lansing, at least for the immediate future. Tressel was hired by Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell to be the next defensive coordinator for the Bearcats, an announcement that was made official on Wednesday.

As Tressel departs Michigan State for his new gig, the program is sending the longtime defensive assistant out with a message.

“Mike Tressel is a tireless worker who put his heart and soul into the Michigan State football program the past 14 seasons,” said head coach Mel Tucker. “I want to thank him for all of his contributions to Spartan football and helping build one of the best defenses in the country.

“He is a tremendous coach with a wealth of football knowledge. I wish Mike well during his next opportunity as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati.”

Tressel was one of the assistant coaches from Mark Dantonio’s staff that Tucker retained when he was named the head coach. He was the linebackers coach and special teams coach for the Spartans from 2007-14 before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2015. In 2018, Tressel was named the defensive coordinator but was then moved to safeties coach when Tucker took over.

Tressel will now be part of a Cincinnati team that finished the 2020 season with a 9-1 record.