WATCH: Interim MSU coach Harlon Barnett says his focus is on getting team ready for Saturday's game

Posted at 1:37 PM, Sep 12, 2023

(WXYZ) — Michigan State interim football head coach Harlon Barnett spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon, saying his focus is on getting the team ready for Saturday's game against Washington.

Barnett was named the interim head coach on Sunday night after head coach Mel Tucker was suspended due to a sexual harassment investigation.

He will also work with former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio, who will be an assistant head coach with Barnett.

MSU suspends Mel Tucker without pay amid sexual harassment investigation

Barnett said Dantonio is "my guy" and they've been coaching together for the past 14 years.

"I'm looking forward to this. It's a great opportunity that I'm having. Let's go," Barnett said. "I have had a desire to be a head coach since I became a coach."

He also said that this isn't the way he wanted to become the head coach, but he's appreciative of the opportunity.

"I'm a Spartan through and through," Barnett said.

He also said his goal is to meet with every player, and he's met with a couple dozen players so far and he's hoping to meet with 20 more today.

"I keep talking about unity. I think that’s part of helping people mentally and letting them know they have someone to lean on," Barnett said.

The Spartans will host the No. 8 Washington Huskies at Spartan Stadium on Saturday evening.