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Mel Tucker retracts comment on Colorado; accepts MSU job

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As of February 8th, it sounded like head coach Mel Tucker was committed to rebuilding the Colorado football program after sending out a tweet reassuring Buffaloes fans he planned to stay put. 

However, in less than a week, he went back on his words and was announced as the head coach of the Michigan State program Wednesday morning. The former Wisconsin defensive back turned down the Spartans’ initial offer but was eventually convinced to make the move back to the Big Ten Conference. 

Tucker will succeed Mark Dantonio, who retired to many people’s surprise early in the month of February. Dantonio had been the Spartans head coach since 2007 and finished his career as the most winningest coach in program history.

Tucker started his coaching career at Michigan State in 1997 as a graduate assistant to then-head coach Nick Saban, and worked alongside fellow assistant Dantonio. After that, Tucker then bounced around the collegiate level before making the jump to the NFL as he was a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears coaching staff.

Mel Tucker
Mel Tucker clapping his hands on the sidelines during a Colorado game. Getty

He then returned to the collegiate level in 2015 serving as the assistant head coach to Nick Saban at Alabama. Tucker then moved on to become the defensive coordinator at Georgia for three seasons.

The Buffaloes hired the defensive-minded coach in 2019 to replace head coach Mike MacIntyre. While at Colorado, Tucker took over a program that went 5-7 in back to back seasons and led them to another 5-7 year in 2019. 

Despite the finishing with the same record, heTucker did bring in the 35th-ranked recruiting class in 2020, according to 247 sports, Colorado’s highest-ranked recruiting class since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. 

Assistant head coach Darrin Chiaverini will serve as the Buffaloes interim head coach for the 2020 season. 

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