Ask Farrell: Are Tucker, Michigan State making the right call?

Eric Bieniemy

Reports: Mel Tucker is leaving as head coach of the CU Buffs, taking the same job with Michigan St.

With Mel Tucker exiting to return to the Big Ten and take the Michigan State football job, Colorado has a head coaching vacancy once again, a year after it had to replace Mike MacIntyre. "We look forward to having Coach Tucker join our Spartan family". His attention to detail will leave no stone unturned in his drive for championships. The addition of Tucker ends the Spartans' high-profile search to replace longtime coach Mark Dantonio, who abruptly resigned February 4.

According to a report from Tony Paul of The Detroit News, MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman interviews three candidates (Tucker, Robert Saleh, and Luke Fickell) but Tucker was the only one who was offered a contract. He coached five games and went 2-3.

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Fast forward to a few days later as the coaching search dragged on and Michigan State's honchos reportedly sweetened the pot dramatically not only for Tucker's salary but for his assistant coaches and for the strength and conditioning program.

Tucker resigned as the Buffaloes' head coach after just one season earlier in the day.

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Tucker is a Cleveland native who was a defensive back at Wisconsin from 1990-94 playing for Barry Alvarez.

Tucker also has to ties to Michigan State and former head coach Mark Dantonio. He made his coaching debut as a graduate assistant at Michigan State working for Saban from 1997-98. He spent the 2015 season as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Alabama.

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Tucker has served as a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, and Georgia Bulldogs during his coaching career. He has also been an assistant at Miami of Ohio, Ohio State and was defensive coordinator for three National Football League teams - the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears (also serving a stint as Jacksonville's interim head coach in 2011) before returning to the college game at Alabama in 2015. That was followed by being hired by Colorado on December 5, 2018.

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