Less than two weeks after his hiring, Mel Tucker‘s first Michigan State football coaching staff is nearly complete.
Monday, MSU confirmed that Tucker has added Ross Els and William Peaglerc to his Spartans staff. Els will serve as special teams coordinator, Peagler as running backs coach.
Tucker is very familiar with both of his new hires.
Els was the inside linebackers coach at Colorado for the past three seasons. During Tucker’s Boulder one-and-done, the 30-year coaching veteran added special teams coordinator to his linebacking duties.
In 2016, the 54-year-old Els was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Purdue. He also spent time on FBS staffs at:
- Nebraska, linebackers coach/special teams coordinator/recruiting coordinator (2012-14)
- Nebraska, linebackers coach (2011)
- Ohio, assistant head coach/linebackers coach/special teams coordinator (2010)
- Ohio, linebackers coach/special teams coordinator (2007-09)
- Ohio, linebackers coach (2005-06)
- New Mexico State, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach (2003-04)
- New Mexico State, safeties/special teams coach (2001-02)
“Ross has been a Power 5 defensive coordinator and does an excellent job with special teams,” the new Michigan State football head coach said in a statement. “His attention to detail is outstanding and he’s a great teacher. He also develops great relationships with his players, which makes him a great recruiter as well. His experience will definitely help our staff.”
The 34-year-old Peagler, meanwhile, was the director of quality control for the offense last season at Colorado for Tucker last year. The Clemson graduate has never been an on-field assistant at the collegiate level.
At Power Five programs, Peagler has served as a quality control assistant for offense at Minnesota (2016) and a graduate assistant at Georgia (2017).
“William has an excellent understanding of offensive concepts,” a statement on Peagler from the Michigan State football coach began. “He really gets it. He also has experience working with (offensive coordinator) Jay Johnson, and has been at some high-level programs, including Clemson and Georgia. He’s a multi-talented coach and I think he is a rising star.”
With the hirings of Peagler and Els, Tucker has officially added nine of his 10 on-field assistants.
The weekend before last, it was confirmed that Ron Burton and Mike Tressel would be retained. Shortly thereafter, Chris Kapilovic officially followed Tucker to MSU from Colorado. Last Wednesday, former first-team All-Big Ten wide receiver Courtney Hawkins returned to East Lansing to coach the same position he played for the Spartans. A day later, Jay Johnson was confirmed as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and Harlon Barnett was brought back as defensive backs coach. A day after that, Tucker pried Ted Gilmore away from Wisconsin to serve as MSU’s tight ends coach.