Skip to main content

Mel Tucker to Draymond: Michigan State Is 'A Destination Job and Not a Stepping Stone'

Amid rumors that he may jump back to the SEC with the opening at LSU, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker is reportedly cashing in. According to reports that emerged on Wednesday, the school is preparing to offer the second-year coach a 10-year, $95 million deal thanks to two wealthy alumni.

That news has Spartans basketball great Draymond Green very excited. On the first episode of his new web show The Draymond Green Show, he had Tucker on as a guest to discuss MSU's impressive 9–1 start and hinted heavily at the news of that giant contract.

Leading in with the recent contract extension for his friend Dawn Staley at South Carolina, Green turned his attention to Tucker's situation. 

"I am also extremely happy to hear rumblings that Tuck's no longer coming, Tuck's staying," Green said. "I heard some rumblings last week that put me on alert, and now there are some reports coming out that you're here to stay and you'll be with us for a long time."

Tucker says it's his goal to make Michigan State his long-term home.

"I came here and I made it clear in my initial press conference that I thought Michigan State was a destination job and not a stepping stone," Tucker said. "Obviously I have Big Ten roots, I played at Wisconsin, I'm from Cleveland, Ohio. . . I know the Big Ten landscape. 

"This is where I started my career in 1997 as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. Michigan State's a special place for me, so it was never my intention to come here and just pass through," he added. "I believe we're building something special here, and I've had tremendous support to do that, and we're on the right track."

When rumors about a program like LSU, one of the best in the nation, pop up, questions about Tucker's future in East Lansing are natural. He did leave Colorado after just one year as head coach of the Buffaloes, and like many other college coaches, the stops along his career have been fairly transient. 

After two years under Saban at Michigan State, Tucker jumped to position coach jobs at Miami (OH), LSU, and Ohio State, where he became the co-defensive coordinator for a year in 2004. From there, he spent time with the Browns, Jaguars, and Bears in the NFL, before returning to coach under Saban at Alabama in 2015. The following year, he left with Kirby Smart to become Georgia's defensive coordinator, spending three seasons in Athens before taking his first full-time head coaching gig at Colorado.

After a 2–5 abbreviated 2020 season with the Spartans, the team is 9–1 this year, including a second straight win over rival Michigan. The team is in the heart of the College Football Playoff conversation, with a massive game at Ohio State on Saturday.

Tucker's reported contract offer would make him the second-highest paid coach in the sport, behind only Saban, and the highest-paid Black coach in American sports.

More College Football Coverage:

For more news on the Michigan State Spartans, head over to Spartan Nation.