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Mel Tucker named Big Ten Coach of the Year by media, coaches

Mel Tucker is the Big Ten Coach of the Year, and his tenure is just getting started in East Lansing

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker has been unanimously named Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the conference's media and coaches.

He is the sixth Spartan head coach to win the award. In 2013, Mark Dantonio was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the coaches and media, while also earning the media's vote in 2010.

Coming off a 2-5 debut season, Tucker completely flipped the fortune of the East Lansing program by attacking the transfer portal and establishing a culture of toughness, grit and accountability.

Michigan State went 10-2 in Tucker's second season, making him the fastest coach in Spartan history to achieve ten wins. Mark Dantonio first won ten games in a season in his fourth year in East Lansing.

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Projected to win just 4.5 games by oddsmakers this past summer, Michigan State vastly exceeded expectations this season under Tucker.

The Spartans won their first eight games of 2021, and were ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, after Michigan State knocked off eventual Big Ten East champion Michigan.

Following losses to Purdue and Ohio State, the Spartans are currently ranked No. 12 in the CFP Top 25, with a new set of rankings set to be announced tonight.

With a 30-27 win over Penn State on Saturday, Michigan State finished its regular season 6-0 at home, its first unbeaten mark at Spartan Stadium since 2015.

Other Michigan State head coaches to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the media include John L. Smith (2003), Denny Stolz (1974) and Darryl Rogers (1977). George Perles in 1987 won the award by the league's coaches.