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MSU names Mel Tucker as new head football coach

Tucker was previously the head coach at the University of Colorado Boulder.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University confirmed Wednesday afternoon via Twitter that they named the former University of Colorado Boulder (CU) football coach Mel Tucker to be the new coach of the MSU football team. 

"To all Spartans, please welcome Coach Mel Tucker to Michigan State!", the MSU football team tweeted

The official hire is pending approval by the MSU Board of Trustees at a press conference at the Breslin Center at 6:30 p.m., where Tucker is expected to be introduced, according to MSU

MSU President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr, M.D. said in a press release he's excited about the energy he'll bring to MSU. 

"Leading our football program on the field and in their development as student athletes is no small task and we are confident he is the right person for the job. We look forward to having Coach Tucker join our Spartan family," Stanley said. 

The announcement comes after a day of circulating reports saying the previous CU football coach will be replacing Mark Dantonio who announced his retirement on Feb. 4. 

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On Saturday, Tucker denied the rumors tweeting he was committed to the Colorado Buffaloes football team. 

"While I am flattered to be considered for the head coach job, MSU football, I am committed to Colorado University Buffalo Football for #TheBuild of our program, its great athletics, coaches and supporters. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoBuffs," he said in a tweet. 

RELATED: Coach says he's committed to Colorado despite MSU opening

Earlier Wednesday, the CU Athletic Director Rick George confirmed that Tucker resigned from his position, effective immediately. 

"We are disappointed to see Coach Tucker leave," George said in part in a statement. 

He said he and his team will get to work immediately and hire the next head coach to build on their momentum and lead their men.

Tucker takes over for Mark Dantonio, who stunned Michigan State and its fans when he suddenly retired last week. Dantonio was Michigan State's all-time leader in wins and led MSU to three Big Ten championships. He also took the program to its first and only College Football Playoff appearance in 2015. 

Dantonio retired under a cloud of scrutiny, named in a lawsuit from former recruiting director Curtis Blackwell, who alleges that Dantonio committed multiple NCAA violations. 

Tucker has ties to Michigan State, beginning his coaching career at MSU as a graduate assistant under former coach Nick Saban in 1997. He also worked as an assistant coach alongside Dantonio at Ohio State from 2001 to 2003. 

"It is a blessing and honor to return to MSU where I began my coaching career with Nick Saban," said Tucker in a press release. "Thank you to President Stanley, Athletic Director Beekman and the Board of Trustees for the trust that you have placed in me to lead one of the finest football programs in the nation.

Tucker went 5-7 last season with Colorado, his only season as head coach for the Buffaloes. 

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