Reports: Indiana to Hire Ron Burton as Defensive Line Coach

UPDATE:  Several reports now indicate that Burton has had a change of heart and will remain with Michigan State.

The original story follows.

The Indiana football program will reportedly be bringing in someone with a highly impressive track record to replace outgoing defensive line coach Mark Hagen.  And like Hagen, Ron Burton knows the way to Bloomington.

Several outlets have reported on social media that IU is expected to hire Michigan State defensive line coach Ron Burton to replace Hagen.

Hagen left to join the staff at Texas last week.

Burton, a 28-year coaching veteran who also played four seasons in the NFL, just finished his seventh season as a defensive line coach at Michigan State.  He served in East Lansing under Mark Dantonio, who retired earlier this month.  MSU announced today that Mel Tucker would be its new head coach.

Since Burton’s first year at Michigan State in 2013, the Spartans have led the Big Ten in rushing defense four times (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018) and have ranked in the NCAA FBS top 11 five of six seasons, including twice at No. 1.

Burton previously spent 10 seasons (2003-12) as the defensive line coach at Air Force. Before arriving at Air Force, Burton spent one season (2002) at Grand Valley State and helped lead the Lakers to a perfect 14-0 record and the 2002 NCAA Division II National Championship, the first in school history.

This won’t be Burton’s first stop at Indiana.

He spent five seasons as the linebackers coach at IU during Cam Cameron’s tenure as head coach from 1997 to 2001. Burton mentored two Butkus Award nominees, Jabar Robinson and Justin Smith, during his time with the Hoosiers. Robinson led the team in tackles two straight years and is sixth in school history with 339 career tackles, while Smith played one season (2003) in the NFL and ranks ninth in IU history with 326 tackles.

A four-year letterman (1982-86) at North Carolina, Burton helped the Tar Heels to three bowl appearances during his career and was named team captain and best defensive lineman as a senior. He graduated from UNC with a bachelor’s degree in industrial relations in 1987.

Following graduation, Burton spent four seasons playing linebacker in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys (1987-89), Phoenix Cardinals (1989) and Los Angeles Raiders (1990). Burton started 15 games for the Cowboys in 1988 and recorded two sacks, and played on the 1990 Raiders team that advanced to the 1990 AFC Championship Game.

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