Michigan State has its new coach. According to multiple reports, the Spartans are set to hire Colorado’s Mel Tucker to replace Mark Dantonio.
Tucker was on the short list of candidates for MSU when the search started, but he originally spurned their overtures. However, after Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell turned down the job on Monday, it appears that Michigan State revisited Tucker.
According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, MSU made Tucker the proverbial offer he couldn’t refuse. Contract details are unconfirmed as of now, but he was in the middle of a five-year, $14.75 million deal at Colorado, so it’s reasonable to think the Spartans beat that amount.
Tucker lasted just one season at CU, going 5-7 overall (3-6 in the Pac-12) in 2019. Now, he’ll take over for Dantonio, the winningest coach in Spartans’ history.
BREAKING: #CU coach Mel Tucker has agreed in principle to become the new head coach at #MichiganState, per sources. After Tucker turned down initial interest, MSU power brokers came back repeatedly to Tucker’s reps w/ an offer that was impossible to ignore https://t.co/qjOH0qKirQ
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 12, 2020
The 48-year-old Tucker is no stranger to the Big Ten. He played his college football at Wisconsin from 1990-94 and began his coaching career at Michigan State as a graduate assistant in 1997.
From 2001-04, Tucker was an assistant coach at Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes win the 2002 BCS National Championship. He then spent the next decade coaching in the NFL, including stints as the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville, Chicago and Cleveland.
Tucker returned to the college ranks in 2015 as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for Alabama’s national title team. From 2016-18 he was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Georgia before moving on to Colorado last year.