Report: Nick Saban played crucial role in Michigan State hiring Mel Tucker as head coach

By Matt Johnson
Nov 16, 2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks onto the field as a play is reviewed during the first quarter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

When the Michigan State Spartans looked around to replace Mark Dantonio, they called to their former head coach Nick Saban. The Spartans reportedly wanted Saban’s advice about who should become their next head coach and he was happy to oblige.

Saban, who served as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator (1983-’87) and head coach (1995-’99), offered a strong recommendation for Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mel Tucker, per The Detroit News.

Tucker worked with Saban at Michigan State and during stops with the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. He got his first chance to become a head coach this past season at Colorado and the program finished 5-7.

Saban reportedly raved about Tucker’s ability to recruit, highlighting his ties to the talent-rich South, and mentioned the 48-year-old’s experience coaching at the collegiate and NFL level.

While Tucker first declined an interview with Michigan State, he ultimately had a change of heart. Now he’ll get to coach at a bigger program with his previous salary doubled and Saban’s coaching tree becomes even more impressive.