EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Just days after taking his name out of consideration for the Michigan State football head coaching job, Mel Tucker has been named the 25th coach in program history.
Mel Tucker was named the 25th coach in program history. (Source: WILX)
MSU held a press conference welcoming Tucker along with a band, cheerleaders and seven people who stepped up to the podium to speak.
After a puzzling weekend that saw Tucker tweet out that he was staying at Colorado, a second effort from Michigan State was too much for the new Spartan head coach to pass up.
"It's the right time for me to be here. Everything is here. Everything that we need is here right now to get done what we need to get done," Tucker said.
He said he is excited to be at Michigan State and Michigan State's leaders made it evident that the feeling is mutual.
"Personally I'm excited about his energy and positive enthusiasm, his dynamic and motivational approach to working with student-athletes. They are students first, and I appreciate that our athletic department never loses sight of that fact," said MSU President Samuel Stanley. I'm thrilled with the selection of Coach Tucker. He has a bright future at Michigan State University, as do all the student-athletes who come to play for him and get an excellent education at our university.
"His energy, his drive, his preparation and commitment to excellence all showed through almost immediately," said Athletic Director Bill Beekman.
Tucker also received praise and welcome from MSU Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo.
"I just want to say congratulations from all of us, speaking for the coaches, and from the 37 years I've been here, there is no place like this. Had my chances to move and had my chances to go places. You know, I got married here, had my kids here. I'm going to get buried here," Izzo said.
Tucker's wife, JoEllyn, or JoJo, also spoke at the press conference.
"We are super excited to come back where it all began and all of our Midwest and Big Ten ties, we are so excited and we can't wait to get here, the boys and I, and just become a part of the community. Everyone's been so welcoming already and we are going to hit the ground running."
Tucker told the crowd the support he has seen has been overwhelming.
"The outpouring of support that the Spartan Nation has shown me and my family, over the past 12 hours, has been overwhelming. I want to thank, many, many people. I would love to do that, but I promised I'm not going to wear you out."
After the press conference, News 10 caught up with the Tucker family.
Tucker's sons said it feels good to be in Michigan and it feels good to get so much support from the Spartan community.
"I'm super excited to be here, I mean this is amazing like everyone has been so welcoming and it's been great," said Joseph Tucker, Tucker's son.
"I'm excited for my dad, excited to be closer to family," said Christian Tucker, Tucker's son.
Tucker is originally from Ohio and his wife, JoJo is from Chicago. She told News 10 she is excited to be closer to her family too.
"We're looking forward to getting involved with the community here and the team and just winning," JoJo said. "I think we'll have lots of family coming in and visit and support us."
JoJo said she and Tucker share a special memory in East Lansing.
"We actually got engaged right here in East Lansing. It was a while ago almost 23 years ago now so we're super excited to come back where it all began."
MSU Linebacker Antjuan Simmons said he is excited for Tucker's arrival too.
"So it's definitely a big moment for us you know it meant a lot you can really tell he's a family guy and he wants to win and he wants to work so we're all excited we're happy to have him."
While his arrival in East Lansing was certainly celebrated, it is now time to hit the ground running. Tucker takes the reigns as head coach starting Friday.
To read the full transcript from the press conference, click here. You can also watch it down below.
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