Michigan State hiring Mel Tucker to replace Mark Dantonio

Mel Tucker

"We are excited about the upward trajectory of our football program and we'll get to work immediately hiring the next head coach to build on our momentum and lead our young men. The resources are here".

Tucker went 5-7 in his only year at Colorado. But on Wednesday, the Buffaloes stated that Tucker had resigned, appearing to confirm his move to Michigan State. They had 7-6 records the past two seasons and were three games over.500 in the four seasons following their playoff appearance.

"It's disappointing, but look, a coach is going to do what's best for he and his family", Colorado athletic director Rick George said.

Michigan State's coaching search has landed on Cleveland native and former Ohio State assistant Mel Tucker, according to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman. That appears to be when the Spartans re-visited the possibility of hiring Tucker, an OH native and former Big Ten defensive back at Wisconsin. His departure caught many by surprise, especially after he and George issued statements Saturday that seemed meant to quell speculation about him going to Michigan State. He had also been meeting with alumni and donors to drum up support. "Mel is a tireless recruiter who knows the game of college football and understands what it will take to be successful in East Lansing".

"We're ready", Simmons said, looking at Tucker during a news conference.

"The head of the program changes, the expectations for the program don't". The former Wisconsin defensive back began his coaching career in 1997 as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. He spent only one season with the Crimson Tide, helping them win a national title.

Dantonio retired with a 114-57 record over 13 years. Fickell turned down an offer to become the Spartans' next coach earlier this week, opting to stay at Cincinnati.

The Spartans have slipped in recent years.

Tucker comes with National Football League experience, too, as he was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent 2005-08 with the Browns - the first three as defensive backs coach and the fourth as defensive coordinator.

Tucker served on the same coaching staff as Dantonio and fellow Spartans coaching candidate Luke Fickell while with the Buckeyes in 2003. Shurmur, a former Spartans player and assistant, was sacked after the season as coach of the New York Giants and expressed loyalty to the Denver Broncos for hiring him to be offensive coordinator.



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