Michigan State rallies to hire Colorado coach Mel Tucker

Former Colorado coach Mel Tucker during a game against Arizona State in September, in Tempe, Arizona. It was reported Wednesday that Tucker has agreed to lead Michigan State's football program.

Michigan State hires Colorado’s Tucker

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State hired Colorado’s Mel Tucker as its new football coach Wednesday, rallying to land a veteran leader with ties to the school who decided to leave the Buffaloes after a single season.

The Spartans lured Tucker away from Colorado with a lucrative contract offer after appearing to be interested in coaches such as Luke Fickell, Robert Saleh and Pat Shurmur. Tucker will replace Mark Dantonio, who retired two weeks ago after 13 mostly successful seasons.

“Mel brings a championship pedigree, NFL experience, connections to our region, success on the recruiting trail and head coaching experience to our program,” athletic director Bill Beekman said.

Colorado hired Tucker in December 2018 and gave him an opportunity to run the Pac-12 program after he was Georgia defensive coordinator. The Buffaloes were 5-7 last season to match the program’s record from each of the previous two years.

“We are disappointed to see coach Tucker leave,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said.

Tucker, 48 was a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Nick Saban in the late 1990s. His departure caught many by surprise, especially after he and George issued statements Saturday that seemed intended to quell speculation about him going to Michigan State.

— The Associated Press

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