Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is leaving Athens for Boulder: Tucker, an assistant on the staff of Bulldog coach Kirby Smart for the past three seasons, will become the head coach at the University of Colorado. Tucker will not be on the sidelines for the Bulldogs upcoming bowl game: the Dogs will take on the Texas Longhorns New Year’s night in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
From the AJC’s DawgNation…
Mel Tucker has been officially named Colorado’s new head football coach. Tucker will not coach in the team’s Sugar Bowl against Texas.
DawgNation reported that Tucker, formerly Georgia’s defensive coordinator, was finalizing a deal on Tuesday night to take over the Buffaloes program.
Terms of Tucker’s deal at Colorado have not yet been announced, but former Buffaloes coach Mike McIntyre was making $2.878,500, according to the USA Today.
Colorado fired Mike McIntyre as head coach on Nov. 18 after the Buffaloes lost a sixth straight game en route to a 5-7 finish. McIntyre was 30-44 in his six seasons in Boulder.
Tucker, 46, was making $1.5 million as Georgia’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Tucker was one of three finalists for the Tennessee head coaching job last year and was rumored for several openings this season, including Maryland and Louisville.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart indicated he expected turnover on his staff this season.
“I think change is kind of inevitable, you know that that’s going to happen in this profession, (and) you know that coaches get opportunities,” Smart said last month. “When you’re a part of a successful program and you’re able to win games, you’ll have guys get opportunities and I am tremendously happy for them and their families for the opportunities because of what they’ve done for the University of Georgia while they’re here.”
It has been clear that Smart has been particularly fond of Tucker, as the two have worked closely coaching the secondary and defense.
“Mel’s one of the most professional people I’ve ever met,” Smart said. “… “He’d do a tremendous job (as a head coach). He’s been an interim coach before, and I know he’d do a tremendous job given the opportunity.”