May 26, 2024

The Michigan State Spartans have indefinitely suspended Mel Tucker following the sexual harassment allegations against him. And now, Harlon Barnett is entering the scene as the interim head coach of Michigan State.

Harlon Barnett is an alumnus of Michigan State itself. He was a starter who played safety for then-head coach George Perles from 1986 to 1989. He was part of the Michigan State roster that won the 1987 Big Ten Championship. During his three years with the Spartans, Barnett then went on record 154 tackles and six interceptions for Michigan State.

Following his college stint, Harlon Barnett was drafted in the fourth round of the 1990 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played for seven seasons professionally in the NFL for the Browns, New England Patriots, and Minnesota Vikings.

After his NFL career came to an end, he was initially recruited by Nick Saban to serve as a sideline reporter during his Michigan State tenure during the 1998-99 season. He then joined Saban once again at LSU in 2003 and started his first coaching gig as a graduate assistant.

However, Barnett only stayed in LSU for one year, after which he joined Cincinnati as their defensive backs coach under then-coach Mark Dantonio and stayed there from 2004 to 2006.

Harlon Barnett then returned to his alma mater with Dantonio in 2007 as a defensive backs coach. He was then promoted to assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator in 2015, which were positions he retained until leaving to become the defensive coordinator for Florida State during the 2018-2019 season.

But just after two years at Florida State, he returned to Michigan State in 2020 as their defensive coordinator when Mel Tucker was signed as the head coach of the team. And ever since, he remained as the defensive coordinator, until recently being named as the interim head coach while Tucker’s alleged case is under investigation

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