Coaches and players have a special relationship at all levels of the game, but at the college level, that bond can be stronger. Mark Dantonio was crushed to hear the news about the tragic death of his former All-American punter, and opened up to me of his first memories of Sadler from 7 years ago.
"Mike was special, it takes you back to 2009 when we recruited him. I remember driving home from this event on a , stopping at McDonalds, my kids had to eat and him calling me and committing. I told my wife Becky we had solidified our punting situation for the next five years and what a great student this guy is," MSU's 11th year head coach Mark Dantonio said.
Over the years, Sadler's personality made him a fan favorite, especially when he was on the positive outcome of a trick play. He was Michigan States' first ever four-time Academic All-American, and was planning on heading to Stanford law school this fall.
He'll be remembered for his sharp whit, playful attitude and one of a kind smile, but Dantonio knows that his impact was fiercely positive and will continue to live on.
"It's a sad situation, it's a tragic situation but Mike, he lived life. He loved life. He was about making people feel better about themselves and I know, I know in my heart that that's what he would want us to do, he would want us to move forward and remember him in a positive fashion and not feel sorry for him and go to work about making life a little better," Dantonio added.
The university is planning on having a memorial service this Sunday at at Spartan stadium that will be open to the public.