Danny Crossman, who served as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech the last three years, begins his first year as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Michigan State.
The 35-year-old Crossman spent the last three seasons under George O'Leary at Georgia Tech (1999-2001) where he coached special teams and defensive ends his first two years before taking over the defensive backs in 2001. He helped the Yellow Jackets to a combined record of 25-12 (.676), including three straight bowl appearances (1999 Gator, 2000 Peach and 2001 Seattle Bowls). In 2001, Georgia Tech finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in pass defense (216.2 yards per game) and third in total defense (333.3 ypg.). In addition, the Yellow Jackets ranked among the NCAA leaders in kickoff returns (No. 21/22.9 avg.), net punting (No. 28/37.3 avg.) and punt returns (No. 30/10.9 avg.). Crossman coached two first-team All-ACC specialists in 2001 ? placekicker Luke Manget and kick returner Kelley Rhino. Manget led the ACC and ranked 10th nationally in field goals (1.6 made per game) while scoring a school-record 97 points. Rhino set an ACC record with 515 punt return yards. Georgia Tech also ranked among the NCAA leaders in 2000, finishing 12th in rushing defense (94.5 ypg.) and 21st in scoring defense (19.0 points per game). Crossman tutored first-team All-ACC defensive end Greg Gathers, who finished third nationally in sacks with 13. His defensive ends accounted for 27 of the team's 39 sacks in 2000. His special teams led the ACC in kickoff returns (23.5 avg.) and kickoff coverage (16.1 avg.). In 1999, the Yellow Jackets were listed among the NCAA leaders in net punting (No. 11/39.5 avg.), kickoff returns (No. 23/22.8 avg.) and punt returns (No. 27/11.2 avg.).
Crossman arrived at Georgia Tech following two years at Central Florida (1997-98) where he coached the defensive backfield and special teams. He previously spent three years at Western Kentucky (1994-96) where he handled all special teams and worked with the defensive secondary for two seasons before coaching the outside linebackers in 1996. His first full-time coaching assignment came at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1993 where he coached the defensive backs and special teams.
He spent parts of two seasons on injured reserve in the NFL with Washington (1990) and Detroit (1991). Crossman played for two years with the London Monarchs (1991-92) in the World League of American Football. He intercepted three passes in the inaugural World Bowl in 1991, returning one pick 20 yards for a touchdown, to earn MVP honors as the Monarchs shut out Barcelona, 21-0.
Crossman earned three letters at Pittsburgh from 1987-89 where he helped the Panthers to a combined record of 22-12-1 (.643), including two bowl trips (1987 Bluebonnet and 1989 Sun). He started 11 games at fullback as a junior in 1988 and rushed for 273 yards (5.5 avg.) and two touchdowns. As a senior in 1989, Crossman was named team MVP and second-team All-American after producing 62 tackles, five pass break-ups and an interception from his strong safety position.
He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and communications from Pittsburgh in 1990. A native of El Paso, Texas, Crossman began his college career at Kansas where he earned Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News in 1985. He had 48 tackles and an interception in eight starts at defensive back for Mike Gottfried. Crossman transferred from Kansas in 1986 to follow Coach Gottfried to Pittsburgh.
Crossman is married to the former Susan Walsh of Maplewood, N.J.
THE CROSSMAN FILE
YEARS AT MICHIGAN STATE: First. Joined staff on Feb. 22, 2002, from Georgia Tech.
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: College ? Defensive backs and special teams coach at U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1993); defensive secondary, outside linebackers and special teams coach at Western Kentucky (1994-96); defensive backfield and special teams coach at Central Florida (1997-98); defensive ends, defensive backs and special teams coach at Georgia Tech (1999-2001).
EDUCATION: Bachelor?s degree in business administration and communications from Pittsburgh in 1990.
PLAYING EXPERIENCE: College ? Started at defensive back for Kansas as a true freshman in 1985. Earned three letters as a fullback and defensive back at Pittsburgh (1987-89). Pro ? Spent three years on injured reserve in the National Football League with Washington (1990) and Detroit (1991-92). Played for two years in the World League of American Football with London (1991-92).
BOWL/POST SEASON EXPERIENCE: Player ? 1987 Bluebonnet, 1989 Sun, 1991 World Bowl (WLAF). Coach ? 1999 Gator, 2000 Peach, 2001 Seattle.