Mel Tucker‘s bank account might want to consider sending a thank you note to Nick Saban.
After a couple of swings and misses, Michigan State confirmed Wednesday that it had flipped Tucker away from Colorado as Mark Dantonio‘s replacement. The university, of course, utilized a search firm to help guide it through the process of finding Dantonio’s successor. They also utilized a future Hall of Famer in an unofficial capacity.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, the Detroit News has reported that Nick Saban served as an advisor for Michigan State in its search. The News added that Saban was a strong proponent of Tucker throughout the process.
From the report:
‘I’m very interested in Michigan State having the right person,'” Saban said in the phone call, according to the source. “And they weren’t bashful about asking Nick.
Nick Saban, of course, has a history with the Michigan State football program. From 1983-87, Saban was MSU’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. Then, from 1995-99, he served as the Spartans’ head coach.
Saban and Tucker also have a working relationship that goes back decades. Tucker’s first job was as a graduate assistant for Saban at MSU from 1997-98. In 2000, he was Saban’s defensive backs coach at LSU. In 2015, Tucker was Alabama’s defensive backs coach. He also held the title of assistant head coach.
According to the News, MSU athletic director Bill Beekman confirmed that he had spoken to Nick Saban during the search.
“Mel has made a name for himself as one of the best and brightest coaches in our profession,” Saban said in a statement after Tucker’s hiring. “I believe he will do a tremendous job as head coach of the Spartans. MSU is getting a guy with infinite class and a great personality, who is smart, works hard, and does it with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and positive energy.
“Mel is a tireless recruiter who knows the game of college football and understands what it will take to be successful in East Lansing.”