WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes his team's resilience.
Now it's time to develop a knockout punch.
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes and Nick Hill ran for two scores Saturday, but No. 8 Michigan State still needed a late interception return for a touchdown to hold on 45-31 at Purdue
Curtis Blackwell begins his second season at Michigan State as the director of college advancement and performance.
Blackwell has previous coaching experience in high school (Detroit Martin Luther King, 2003-05, 2007; Detroit Mackenize (2006) and spent nine years as the co-director of the "Sound Mind, Sound Body" Football Academy, a program devoted to high school student-athletes who aspire to play in college that emphasizes the importance of both academics and athletics.
One of Blackwell's primary duties is to mentor current student-athletes, with a focus on leadership, graduation and career objectives. He also plays a key role in the development and implementation of strategic plans in football recruiting. In addition, Blackwell works on the continuing development of relationships with youth football programs throughout the state of Michigan.
A four-year letterwinner as a defensive back at Hampton University, Blackwell received his bachelor's degree in sport management in 2000. He earned his master's degree in sports administration from Baylor in 2002.
THE BLACKWELL FILE:
YEARS AT MICHIGAN STATE: Second. Joined staff on Aug. 2, 2013.
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: High School - Assistant coach at Detroit Martin Luther King (2003-05, 2007); assistant coach at Detroit Mackenzie (2006).
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in sport management from Hampton in 2000; master's degree in sports administration from Baylor in 2002.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: Player - 1997 Division I-AA Playoffs, 1998 Division I-AA Playoffs, 1999 Heritage Bowl; Staff - 2014 Rose Bowl.