By Eric Christensen
BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The University of Colorado has announced that Melvin Tucker is the 26th head coach in the school’s history. Tucker was officially hired on Wednesday and replaces Mike MacIntyre who was let go before the team’s final game of the season against the University of California. CU’s athletic director Rick George has proposed that the University’s Board of Regents approve a 5-year deal worth $14.75 million. The proposal will go in front of the Board at a Dec. 12 meeting in Denver.
Tucker comes from the University of Georgia where he was the Bulldogs defensive coordinator for the past 3 seasons. He will begin work at CU immediately and will not coach the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl. “Colorado has always been a place that I thought should be relevant in the national championship conversation year-in and year-out because of it’s tradition and seemingly endless list of what the school has to offer,” said Tucker. “Colorado should be a ‘no excuse’ program. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t achieve success at an extremely high level.”
CU’s athletic director Rick George added, “If you go back last month when I talked about what I wanted in our next head coach, you’ll find that Mel checks all those boxes. He has great experience and a terrific pedigree: I like the way he coaches football, his toughness and accountability. Those are the things we were looking for.”
Prior to his stop in Athens, GA, Tucker was the associate head coach and defensive backs coach for Nick Saban at Alabama. While in Tuscaloosa, Saban had this to say about Tucker, “He’s got a great personality, the players are really attracted to him. He’s enthusiastic and smart. He’s one of the best coaches we’ve ever had on staff here.” Tucker also coached under Saban at both Michigan State and LSU. He has coached in 130 Division 1-A games as a full-time coach, his teams owning a record of 101-29.
Before entering the collegiate ranks, Tucker spent 10 years in the NFL with several teams. In 2011, he became the Jacksonville Jaguars interim head coach when the team fired Jack Del Rio. Most recently he was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2013-14.
In college Tucker was a defensive back at Wisconsin. He actually played against the Buffs as a member of the Badgers back in the mid-90’s. “When I think about Colorado, I distinctly remember when I was on the sideline with Wisconsin and saw Ralphie run out and in front of our sideline,” Tucker recalled. “The excitement and passion of the crowd in the stadium is something that has always remained with me.”
Tucker will be formally introduced at a news conference on Thursday at 10 a.m.