Tucker says Michigan State a ‘destination’ job

  • College football reporter.
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
  • Graduate of Northwestern University.

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, who could soon receive a significant new contract with the school, said MSU is a destination job and that he never intended to “just pass through.”

Speaking on The Draymond Green Show with Green, a former basketball star at Michigan State now with the Golden State Warriors, Tucker made his first comments since the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday reported that Michigan State is set to offer a 10-year, $95 million contract to the coach.

Tucker is in his second season at MSU, which is 9-1 and ranked No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings entering Saturday’s game at No. 4 Ohio State. The Free Press reported that Michigan State alumni Mat Ishbia and Steve St. Andre are funding the new contract, which would make Tucker one of the nation’s highest-paid coaches.

“I made it clear in my initial press conferences that I thought Michigan State was a destination job and not a stepping stone,” Tucker told Green, who played for MSU from 2008 to 2012. “It was never my intention to come here and just pass through. I believe that we’re building something special here. I have tremendous support here to do that, and we’re on the right track.”

Tucker, 49, mentioned his roots in the Big Ten as a former Wisconsin player and a native of Cleveland who started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State for then-coach Nick Saban. He also spent 2001 to 2004 as a defensive assistant at Ohio State.

Michigan State has yet to announce any new agreement with Tucker, who currently earns $5.56 million and is signed through the 2024 season. In February 2020, he was hired after only one season at Colorado to replace longtime Spartans coach Mark Dantonio.

Tucker’s name has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the coaching vacancy at LSU, which announced Oct. 17 that coach Ed Orgeron would not return in 2022.

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