clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

3 things you should know about Mel Tucker leaving Colorado for Michigan State

Tucker’s abrupt move comes days after denying interest in the job with the Spartans

USC v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The announcement of Mel Tucker leaving for Michigan State was unexpected to many people, especially after tweeting his reaffirmed commitment to the University of Colorado over the weekend. Here are three things to know about Tucker’s departure from Boulder.

Tucker’s contract allowed for the easy out

A sum of $3 million for a buyout may seem like a lot, but considering Michigan State will be reportedly paying Tucker roughly two times ($5.3 million plus incentives) more than CU, the out for Tucker was written in his contract from day one. Tucker was scheduled to make a base salary of $2.675 million this year at Colorado — a figure eighth-highest among Pac-12 coaches and 58th nationally. Tucker moves into the top 20 highest paid coaches in college football at MSU.

The move to Michigan State will not only cost Tucker

With a coaching change comes lost recruits and the possibility of assistant coaches exiting as well. The Buffs gathered one of the best recruiting classes to date for 2020 and several top-tier players who committed to Tucker could likely move on from Colorado. Highly-touted blue chip recruit Ashaad Clayton expressed his disbelief of Tucker vacating the program after the news broke and said what many CU faithful are thinking.

Tucker is the first CU coach to exit after one season in 58 years

Mel Tucker’s short stay in Boulder makes him the fourth coach in CU history to record a one-and-done season since 1900. He’s the first since Bud Davis, who guided the Buffs to a 2-8 record in 1962. A man by the man of Eddie Crowder came to Boulder in 1963 and helped to turn the program around with some of the best years throughout the late 60’s and 70’s. Crowder later became athletic director for CU and was instrumental in hiring legendary coaches Ceal Berry and Bill McCartney. Four years is the average tenure for a head football coach at Colorado since McCartney left the program in 1994.

According to BuffStampede’s Adam Munsterteiger, CU tried to keep Tucker, but was never given the opportunity to present a counter offer.