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Michigan State hires Mel Tucker as Mark Dantonio replacement

Michigan State has hired Colorado football coach Mel Tucker, ending a wild seven-day search to replace Mark Dantonio, who abruptly and surprisingly retired on Feb. 4 after 13 seasons.

Tucker, 48, reached a deal early Wednesday to become the Spartans’ 25th head coach, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, barely three days after Tucker interviewed with Michigan State’s search party and announced he was staying with the Buffaloes for a second season.

Contract terms were not immediately available.

Mel Tucker during the fourth quarter of Colorado's game against USC.

Tucker’s buyout at Colorado dropped to $3 million on Dec. 31, per his five-year contract with Colorado. 

Tucker’s change of heart comes after Michigan State struck out on front-runner Luke Fickell, who caused a stir Monday when he decided to stay at Cincinnati.

HYPOCRISY:Tucker hire underscores competitive imbalance NCAA ignores

HIS WAY:Michigan State’s Dantonio stayed true, but it led to a messy ending

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The Spartans were scheduled to interview Tucker over the weekend, people told the Free Press, and on Friday athletic director Bill Beekman landed at Colorado Air and Space Port near Denver on a private plane based out of Lansing.

On Saturday, Tucker tweeted:

“While I am flattered to be considered for the HC job @MSU_football, I am committed to @CUBuffsFootball for #TheBuild of our program, its great athletes, coaches & supporters. #UnfinishedBusiness #GoBuffs

“We are #Relentless #Culture #TheBuild”

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