We Are Spartans


MSU coaches' kids spend holidays on the road

Posted at 7:23 AM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 08:54:07-05

The Spartan Football Team spent Christmas in San Diego, gearing up for Thursday's Holiday Bowl against the Washington State Cougars.

Growing up we are told there is no greater place than being home for the holidays, but as Michigan State University's football team hits the road to get ready for their bowl game, the coach's kids also have to hit the road for Christmas morning.

"We try to make it as special as possible for the children so we pack a Christmas tree, we make snowflakes before hand we set up stockings so that morning they do have that Christmas experience in the hotel," said coach's wife, Dana Staten.

The families also write letters to Santa to let him know where they will be that year, and Santa has never missed them.

"My little one who's seven said make sure we write a letter so Santa will know right? And I said of course Santa will always come and finds us no matter where we are," said Staten.

"My kids like to write letters to Santa as well, and let him know where we'll be on Christmas morning. Santa fills their stockings and he brings them Santa gifts that are wrapped in Santa paper," said coach's wife, Jaclyn Samuel.

The older coach's kids tell FOX 47 News some of their best childhood memories are from spending Christmas in different hotels.

"The best part is as a kid me and my sister always ranked hotels based on the pools," said coach's son, Todd Barnett.

"It's pretty special that you get to spend vacation in really cool places and resorts and also just with your family and if your friends join," said coach's daughter, Kristen Dantonio.

"Christmas in a hotel is probably the funniest thing you will ever do. I know with my older sisters just running around the hotel and elevators and especially it being different every year," said coach's daughter, Shaylee Snyder.

Although being a coach's kid does come with some sacrifices, they really enjoy spending these special experiences with their football family.

"We have grown up with each other so we enjoy spending time with them so getting to go to a bowl game and going somewhere new. You know getting to go to dinner or go do fun things. We love it it's a blast," said coach's daughter Lauren Dantonio.

"You kind of take it for granted when you're younger and now being you know out of college talking to people from all different types of backgrounds realizing how unique and how much of a blessing you know to go on these vacations," said Barnett.

"We get to meet up and see what all the other kids got for Christmas and play and its just..Its great," said coach's daughter Lindsay Snyder.