Appling leads Spartans in scoring with 16 points.
MSU looking for 36th straight home opening win.
MSU men's basketball will feature many new faces this season.
AP Photos: Basketball vs. Wisconsin
Dane Fife is in his second season as an assistant coach at Michigan State, working closely with the Spartan perimeter players.
Last season, he assisted Keith Appling make the difficult transition from shooting guard to the point. He also assisted with the opponent scouting reports and brought the defensive intensity he possessed as a player to his role as a coach, as the Spartans held opponents to .379 field-goal percentage defense, good for No. 2 nationally, and the best effort by MSU since 1959.
Prior to his arrival in East Lansing, he spent six seasons as head coach at IPFW, where he posted an 82-97 record, including a 34-27 mark over the last two seasons. In each of his six seasons, IPFW tied or broke its record for wins at the Division I level, as Fife guided the Mastodons from Independent status to membership in the Summit League. This past season, IPFW posted an 18-12 mark, including an 11-7 record in the Summit League and secured the No. 4 seed in the Summit League Tournament, the program's highest seed ever in four years of conference membership.
A 2002 graduate of Indiana University, Fife led the Hoosiers to the 2002 National Title game and a share of the regular-season Big Ten Championship. Individually, he was named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He is the Indiana career leader with 180 steals over the course of his four-year career (1998-2002), while the 53 he recorded as a senior rank tied for the eighth-best single-season mark at IU. With 99 career 3-point field-goals made, he ranks among the top 20 in school history, while his .478 3-point field-goal percentage in 2001-02 ranks sixth on the school's single-season chart. The 37 games he started as a senior established the Indiana single-season mark, while the 131 games in which he played over the course of his career rank tied for sixth all-time at IU.
On March 24, 2005, Fife was named head coach at IPFW, becoming the youngest head coach in Division I basketball at just 25 years old. He held that distinction as the nation's youngest head coach for five seasons. In his first season, Fife took over a program that had never posted double-digit wins and won 10 games (10-18). The following season, IPFW improved to 12-17.
The 2007-08 season was IPFW's first as a member of the Summit League, and still the Mastodons improved to 13-18. IPFW finished its first league slate at 9-9 and secured the school's first-ever conference tournament bid, and win (66-62 vs. Southern Utah). In 2008-09, IPFW posted a 13-17 mark, including 8-10 in league play, finishing sixth. That season, Fife coached forward Deilvez Yearby, the 2009 Summit League Sixth Man of the Year. As a team, the Mastodons also had signature wins, topping two-time defending league champion Oral Roberts and handing Valparaiso its worst home defeat in 11 years (63-46).
Fife's 2009-10 squad became the first Mastodon team to produce a winning season, finishing with a 16-15 mark. IPFW was 9-9 in league play, finishing fifth, and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. During IPFW's history in the Summit League, Fife has mentored three all-conference performers, including Jaraun Burrows (2008, 2nd Team), Deilvez Yearby (2010, 2nd Team) and Ben Botts (2011, 2nd Team).
Prior to becoming head coach at IPFW, Fife was a member of Mike Davis' staff for two years at Indiana, serving as an administrative assistant.
Fife was the Gary Steelheads' first round pick in the 2002 CBA Draft and started five of the 34 games in which he played. He averaged 3.4 points and one rebound per game.
A 1998 graduate of Clarkston (Mich.) High School, Fife was the recipient of the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award in 1998. He was also a McDonald's and Parade All-America selection, while playing for his father Dan.
He owns two degrees from Indiana, earning a bachelor's degree in recreation (2002) and a master's degree in athletic administration (2005). His family includes his wife Blair and daughter Quinnly.
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