Mark Dantonio Reacts To Michigan State Hiring Mel Tucker
Mark Dantonio reacted to Michigan State hiring Mel Tucker on Wednesday.
Last week, Dantonio shocked the college football world when he quit his job. After serving as the Spartans’ head coach since 2007, Dantonio’s decision sent shockwaves through the entire Big Ten.
After a labored coaching search that saw Michigan State get rejected by candidates repeatedly, including initially by Tucker, the school finally got its man this week.
Tucker, the former head coach of Colorado, officially agreed to accept the position on Wednesday morning.
A few hours after the decision came down, Dantonio offered his two cents on the Spartans’ replacement for him.
“I first came in contact with Mel when he was the graduate assistant here at Michigan State for Coach Saban,” he said.
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“He did an outstanding job with the defensive backs. When I went to Ohio State to work for Coach Tressel, he asked me who should coach the secondary, and I immediately thought of Mel.
“He was a part of the national championship staff and has gone on to coach at the highest levels of football.”
Dantonio believes that Tucker has not only the football know-how to be successful, but also the personality to be a good recruiter.
“Mel is charismatic, brings good energy, and is a very forward thinker,” Dantonio said.
“He’s also an outstanding recruiter who connected with his players, but also holds them accountable. He’s from the Midwest and has a Spartan background with knowledge of the Big Ten.
“I’m extremely excited for Mel and his family. I’m looking to support him in any way possible.”
Tucker’s very first coaching gig was with the Spartans under Nick Saban. Dantonio was also on Saban’s staff at the time.
From 2005 to 2014, Tucker held various positions within the NFL before returning to serve under Saban at Alabama for one season.
After that, Tucker spent three years under Kirby Smart at Georgia before ultimately landing a head coaching position with Colorado.
Tucker was approached about taking over for Dantonio almost immediately, but he initially rejected the position. Michigan State then returned with an offer that doubled the $2.7 million he was getting at Colorado.