And just like that, Mel Tucker‘s first coaching staff at Michigan State football has been filled. Officially.
Earlier Friday, reports continued to surface that Tucker was looking to swipe Scottie Hazelton from Kansas State. Later on in the evening, MSU confirmed that Hazelton has been added to Tucker’s staff.
The veteran of nearly a quarter-century in the coaching profession will serve as the Spartans’ defensive coordinator.
“Scottie definitely has the mentality you’re looking for in a defensive coordinator,” the new Michigan State football head coach said in a statement. “He’s a leader with an infectious personality and he’s an excellent teacher. He’s learned from some of the great defensive minds in the game throughout his career. Scottie has been a defensive coordinator multiple times, including at the Power 5 level, he’s coached in the NFL, and he’s been on a staff that won a national championship. I couldn’t be more excited about hiring Scottie as our defensive coordinator to lead our outstanding defensive staff.”
Hazelton spent the 2019 season as the defensive coordinator at Kansas State. He’s also been the coordinator at Wyoming (2017-18) and Nevada (2013) at the FBS level.
With Hazelton’s hiring, all 10 of Tucker’s on-field assistants for his Michigan State football staff have been hired.
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. Two Wednesdays ago, 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.
February 24, Ross Els (special teams coordinator) and William Peagler (running backs coach) were added as well.