Melvin Gene Tucker II ’90


“During my time at Cleveland Heights High School, I learned how to interact with people from backgrounds different than my own. Whether it was ethnic, social economics, or religious.”

“You have people that have all talent and no hustle, but that’s not good enough. In order to be successful you need hustle and talent.” ~ Mel Tucker Sr.

In February 2020, Mel Tucker, a former CHHS football standout and University of Wisconsin-Madison defensive back star for the Wisconsin Badgers, returned to Michigan State as Head Football Coach, twenty-two years after beginning his coaching career at the University as a graduate assistant under famed college and NFL coach Nick Saban. Mel, who got engaged to his wife, JoEllyn, while at MSU (for first time), said upon his return to the Big Ten team, “Returning home to Michigan State is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and my family but it created the toughest decision of my life—to leave Colorado…” Returning to MSU completes a full-circle career for Mel after making significant impact in the sport through key coaching positions at other US colleges and national football teams: Ohio State University (in 2002, under Head Coach Jim Tressel, Mel was the defensive backs coach when the Buckeyes won the state championship); Cleveland Browns (under Tucker, the team consistently ranked fifth in the league); Jacksonville Jaguars (under Tucker, the team quickly became the fourth highest rated NFL team); Chicago Bears; University of Alabama (during Mel’s tenure, the Crimson Tides won the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship); University of Georgia (Bulldogs) and; most recently, at the University of Colorado (Buffaloes).


BS, Agricultural Business Management, University of Wisconsin

Current Occupation

Head Football Coach, Michigan State University

  • Graduating from the University of Wisconsin
  • Winning a National Championship at Ohio State in 2002
  • Winning a National Championship at the University of Alabama in 2015
  • Becoming the youngest Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator in franchise history 
  • Becoming the Head Coach at the University of Colorado
  • Becoming the Head Coach at Michigan State University