Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo Welcomes Mel Tucker

Hondo S. Carpenter

Delta Township, MI

Spartan Nation broke the story on Tuesday evening that Mel Tucker would be the next coach of the Michigan State Spartan Football program. You can read the transcript below or watch the video above of the speech that Tom Izzo gave welcoming him and his family.

TOM IZZO: Wow, I got you in my house. And I would reiterate, I'm here and I'm only speaking because basketball is my second sport. I've loved football my whole life. I know that is funny, but it's the truth. When I come back, if I believe in reincarnation, I will I will be Vince Lombardi some day (laughter). If he wants to play for me after you're done, I'm fine with it.

I just want to say, you are lucky because I think that you're in a place, like some of us, had many opportunities to leave and never wanted to leave and I hope you feel the same way.

These coaches here, it's a special place because the jealousies that go on in a lot of schools; a lot of football and basketball coaches don't get along; a lot of women's volleyball and basketball don't get along. It's been an unbelievable 37 years, and 25 of them as the head coach. You're the 25th head coach. It seems like it's all right.

What makes me happier is that you have Big Ten background. I have always said, I think it's important. You worked for some of the great guys. I'm a big Barry Alvarez fan. Nick Saban and I started together as assistants and head coaches.

Mark Dantonio has been one of my better friends. I look at all the people that you worked for and ever since I came here, it was George Perles who kind of brought me in and took me under his belt because he was the old guy and I was the GA. I'm a little ticked off that I'm the old guy and you're not the GA but you're the younger version. I'm a little bummed out about that but so be it.

I'm going to be here for you, your wife, your family and whatever you need because it does take a group of people to be a champion.

I'm also, JoJo, very excited, because you being both an Illinois grad and a Rutgers law school grad. We are 3-0 against those schools and we are 1-1 against Wisconsin, but I know deep down, JoJo, you were pulling for us last night. I appreciated that.

Mel, I want to welcome you. I want to tell you that this is a cool thing. From our band to our cheerleaders to our coaches to our board to the assistants that are here, it's an exciting time for all of us.

I promise you there will be no bigger fans than the people you see sitting here. They are going to support you. They are going to help you through it, and I'm going to be there for whatever you need.

I just want to say congratulations from all of us, speaking for the coaches, and from the 37 years I've been here, there is no place like this. Had my chances to move and had my chances to go places. You know, I got married here. Had my kids here. I'm going to get buried here.

So hopefully, you know, you're going to follow in my footsteps in that way, okay. And this weekend, we are celebrating the 20 years. It's been too long, though, when you're a coach, 20 years since you've won a National Championship. Knocked on that door eight other times. One of these days it's going to open.

But one of my thrilling moments was in 2015 when we made it in football and we made it in basketball to a Final Four and that to me was one of the great days of Michigan State athletics.

I'm expecting both of us to hold that true, along with my damn golf coach, because she's on my butt every day about chasing for championships.

So I hope you have a great time here. I hope you have a great night. But thank you guys, thank you all, thank your family. It is a family affair here. You enjoy the people here and thank all of you for coming.

So welcome.

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