Michigan State can remove one more coach from its list of potential candidates to be the next head coach of the Spartans. Colorado head coach Mel Tucker issued a statement confirming his commitment to the Buffs. Tucker issued his statement on Twitter.
“While I am flattered to be considered for the head coaching job at Michigan State, I am committed to CU Buffs Football for the build of our program, its great athletes, coaches and supporters,” Tucker said.
Colorado Athletics Director Rick George also weighed in on his coach’s commitment to the program.
“Mel has turned heads here with the culture he’s quickly building and recruiting success he’s had, so it’s only natural that programs looking for a coach are going to be taking note,” George said in a released statement. “I know he’s committed to the Buffs all the way and we’re committed to supporting the vision he has for our program and winning championships. I’ve said plenty of times that we couldn’t be more excited that Mel is our head coach.”
Tucker made his head coaching debut with Colorado last season after three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Georgia. Tucker does have Big Ten roots, of course. He played defensive back at Wisconsin from 1990 through 1994 and got his coaching career started as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1997. Nick Saban was Michigan State’s head coach at the time.
Colorado went 5-7 in its first season under Tucker.
Other coaches to take their name out of the mix for the Michigan State vacancy have included Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi (HERE) and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell (HERE). Mark Dantonio stepped down as head coach of the Michigan State program after 13 seasons earlier this week.
After getting banged up in their most recent game, Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault and defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson will be game-time decisions when Arizona comes to Boulder, Colorado this weekend.
Colorado head coach Mel Tucker confirmed that will be the call for both players on Monday when speaking to the media.
“Those guys will be game-time decisions,” Tucker said, according to The Denver Post. “Hopefully, those guys will continue to progress.”
It would certainly boost Colorado’s chances if their progress does improve. They are two of the top players Colorado has on the roster.
Shenault has 17 receptions for 226 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions along with a rushing touchdown this season. Johnson has just 12 tackles this fall, but three of those have been for a sack. He has also returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Shenault left Colorado’s win against Arizona State with an undisclosed injury and returned to the sideline in street clothes for the second half of the game. Johnson injured his ankle in the same game.
It is not uncommon for a new head coach to wipe the slate clean with a coaching staff once he takes on a job, but sometimes there will be some assistants retained from the previous staff. Such appears to be the case at Colorado where new head coach Mel Tucker appears to be keeping a couple of familiar faces from the previous staff in the program moving forward.
Colorado co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini took to Twitter to confirm the news regarding his status himself by expressing his pride in remaining a part of the Colorado coaching staff moving forward with Tucker.
However, it is not quite known just what role Chiaverini will be taking on with the Buffs. A report from Football Scoop on Monday morning states Tucker will add Jay Johnson as an offensive coordinator. Johnson would be following Tucker to Colorado from Georgia, where he was an offensive analyst and quality control coach with the SEC’s Bulldogs. Chiaverini also held the responsibility of coaching the wide receivers and was Colorado’s recruiting coordinator. Continuing in those roles at the very least may be a likely outcome as the staff roles are defined.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic also reports, via Twitter, running backs coach Darian Hagan is expected to remain on the staff as well.
Hagan, a former Buffs quarterback on Colorado’s 1989 and 1990 teams, has been on the Colorado staff for a total of 14 years between multiple stops in Boulder. Hagan worked with player development from 2013 through 2015 and has worked as director of player personnel and running backs coach under multiple coaches. Having a coach that is as connected to the program as Hagan would be an asset to any new head coach at Colorado, so keeping Hagan in town would be a good move for Tucker.
File this one under stories that should have been expected from a mile away. The football staff at Georgia, following up on an SEC title and appearance in the College Football Playoff national championship game, are getting bumps in pay. As a whole, the assistant coaching staff under head coach Kirby Smart will be paid roughly $2 million more than the staff received a year ago, according to a report from Seth Emerson of Dawg Nation.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will see the biggest pay raise with of $900,000 to bump his total pay up to $1.5 million. That would make him one of the top assistant coaches in assistant coaching salaries. Based off last year’s USA Today salary database, Tucker would be the fifth highest-paid assistant coach, and that may even be higher now given some of the offseason changes in the assistant coaching pool. Last year, four assistant coaches received a total pay of at least $1.5 million, and three of them were in the SEC (LSU’s Dave Arranda and Matt Canada, and Texas A&M’s John Chavis; Clemson’s Brent Venables was the outlier).
Keeping in line with another growing trend when it comes to power conference programs and how much money is budgeted for the football staff, Georgia will give strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair a $150,000 raise from his previous contract of $300,000.
What has not been finalized, publicly at least, is what the future holds for the contract of Smart. After a wildly successful season, Smart is expected to receive a raise as well as Georgia continues to build something special under his leadership after just two seasons. Smart was paid a base salary of $3.75 million last year, according to USA Today’s salary database, which made him the 9th highest-paid coach in the SEC in 2017. That is fair, considering Smart was a first-time head coach and other coaches in the conference had more head coaching experience, but Smart has quickly proven himself among his peers in the conference and is likely to move up the SEC coaching salary ranking quite quickly. Nick Saban (Alabama) and now Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M) may still be on another playing field in terms of salary, but Smart should manage to move up closer to the high-end of the SEC salary spectrum.
College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.
No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.
The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.
2017 Broyles Award Nominees
- Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
- Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
- Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
- Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
- Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
- Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
- Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
- Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
- FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
- Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
- Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
- Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
- Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
- LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
- Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
- Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
- Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
- Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
- North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
- Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
- Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
- Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
- Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
- Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
- Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
- Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
- SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
- South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
- Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
- Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
- Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
- Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
- U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
- Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
- Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
- Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
- Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
- Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
- West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
- Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator