Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker came to Big Ten Media Days with a very clear message — the Spartans are hungry for championships ahead of the 2022 season.
Speaking at the podium to begin the day, Tucker had his usual commanding presence in front of the league's media and boldly stated his goals for Michigan State football this Fall.
"We're chopping wood every day, and the goal for us is to win every game on our schedule," Tucker said. "That's our stated goal. Our goal is to finish first. That's our goal. And we need to bring a championship to East Lansing. So that's what this is all about."
Tucker also doubled-down on a message from earlier this offseason, stating that as good as the Spartans' 2021 season was, nobody cares about what MSU did a year ago, including themselves.
"A year ago, last season, 11-2 — For us it was just really a step in the right direction," Tucker said. "That's really what it was. We did some good things, but nobody cares what you did last year. We certainly don't. We've got a lot of work to do. We have improved tremendously this out of season, on the field and off the field."
Despite the 2021 season being in the rear-view mirror, Michigan State's 11 wins a year ago raised the bar for the Spartan program in 2022 and the years ahead. Tucker did not shy away from those higher expectations.
"We just keep chopping wood every single day," he said. "We've got something to prove. We took a step in the right direction. We're not where we want to be. The voices inside of our building need to be louder than the voices outside the building. So we're staying focused on the task at hand.
"There's laser focus, and there's hunger. We've got a chip on our shoulder. All our guys are bought in, the coaches and the players. So it's just a matter of continuing to work our butts off."
Culture is something that Tucker has preached and cultivated since the first day he stepped on campus as the head coach of Michigan State. That message continued at Big Ten Media Days as well.
"We have shifted our culture at Michigan State," Tucker said. "It's a culture that is rooted in a relentless mindset in everything we do. Culture is how we live and behave every single day, a culture of accountability, attention to detail, sense of urgency, connection, being authentic, being real, and good old-fashioned hard work. You roll your sleeves up and figure out a way to get the job done.
"Our culture is all about how we live and behave every day. Those are actions. Those are behaviors. It's a process. What are we doing every single day to get better? Aggregation of marginal gains. Everyone just get a little bit better every single day. We're going to continue to hammer our process, cement our culture, and that's what's going to create the outcomes for us."
Tucker seemed to be chomping at the bit to get through Media Days and get back to East Lansing where he and his team can get back to work and prepare for the start of Fall camp.
"I feel really good about this upcoming season," he said. "We're going to have a great training camp. I can't wait to get started."