After a week of uncertainty about the future of the football program, Michigan State has its guy.
Per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Colorado football coach Mel Tucker has agreed in principle to become the next head coach of the Spartans.
Tucker is no stranger to East Lansing. From 1997-1998, he was a graduate assistant for the Spartans under then-head coach Nick Saban. Tucker, 48, will now become the 25th head coach in the program’s history. The hiring of Tucker may seem a little shocking to some. After all, he made a post on Twitter this past Saturday stating his intentions remain the head coach in Colorado. This was after reports that he was set to interview with MSU this past weekend.
“While I am flattered to be considered for the HC job @MSU_football, I am committed to @CUBuffsFootball for #TheBuild of our program, its great athletes, coaches & supporters. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoBuffs
Yet when Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell removed himself from MSU’s coaching search, attention went back to Tucker. He agreed to become the Spartans’ next coach Wednesday evening.
In his first season as coach at Colorado, Tucker coached the Buffaloes to a 5-7 season, finishing fourth in the Pac-12 South. However, Tucker still comes back to East Lansing with a championship pedigree. As a defensive backs coach and assistant head coach, he’s a two-time national champion, winning in 2002 with Ohio State, and 2015 with Alabama. Additionally, he had a brief stint in the NFL as interim coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2011).
This move also keeps Tucker in his rare status. Of the 130 schools in the NCAA Division-1 FBS (football bowl subdivision), only 13 of the head coaches are minorities.
Tucker is one of them.
The hiring of Tucker comes just over a week after former MSU coach Mark Dantonio abruptly retired after 13 seasons.