Colorado’s Mel Tucker headed to Michigan State, reports say

Mel Tucker talking on a cell phone Though he initially turned down interest in the job it looks like Mel Tucker is headed to Michigan State after all

Tucker, who was hired in December 2018 and just completed a debut 5-7 season as the football coach of the Buffs - the best record for a first-year coach at CU in 20 seasons - has agreed to take the same position at Michigan State.

Tucker also spent more than a decade in the National Football League as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears.

Sources indicate that Tucker knew that Fickell was Michigan State's lead candidate. "I met all of you for the first time today and I look forward to many happy meetings and having you as part of our MSU community". Tucker is expected to receive approval from the Michigan State board of trustees on Wednesday afternoon. Michigan State confirmed the hiring at 11 a.m. via Twitter.

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"We are disappointed to see Coach Tucker leave", Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement. 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. And after Mark Dantonio somewhat abruptly retired earlier this month following a 13-year run leading the Spartans, the university ultimately landed on a former Saban assistant as Dantonio's successor.

The Spartans slipped in recent years, going 7-6 records the past two seasons and barely being over.500 in the four seasons following their playoff appearance. He bounced around from college and the NFL as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator, winning 2 National Championships with Ohio State and Alabama. He spent three years as the Dawgs defensive coordinator, helping win a Rose Bowl and almost a National Championship. He also was the interim head coach for Jacksonville over the final five games in 2011 after Jack Del Rio was sacked. But when MSU struck out on hiring Luke Fickell from Cincinnati, the school circled back to Tucker and offered him a contract that will reportedly double what he was earning in Boulder. His budget for assistants and strength and conditioning coaches will also increase significantly.

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