Michigan State coaching candidates: Where will the Spartans turn after Mel Tucker?
Could Pat Narduzzi be convinced to come back from Pitt? One thing is for certain for MSU this time around: It is good to be in the Big Ten, where resources are unmatched.
Michigan State wasted little time attempting to turn the page on the Mel Tucker era, telling the coach in a letter Monday that it intends to terminate his contract for cause for “unprofessional and unethical behavior” following a suspension due to sexual harassment allegations from activist Brenda Tracy.
The termination is not surprising, as it was the expected conclusion the moment that USA Today first reported the allegations on the night of Sept. 9.
Harlon Barnett took over as interim head coach ahead of last Saturday’s game against Washington, and MSU will again be in the coaching market come season’s end.
Tucker went 20-14 after getting hired in 2020. MSU surprised everyone by going 11-2 in 2021 and winning the Peach Bowl, a season that helped Tucker earn a market-resetting 10-year, $95 million contract.
When MSU hired Tucker after Mark Dantonio’s February 2020 retirement, the process was sloppy. The Spartans publicly failed to lure Luke Fickell from Cincinnati, and they publicly failed to lure Tucker the first time around, before eventually making him an offer he couldn’t refuse, when he was coming off a 5-7 debut season at Colorado.
That is worth keeping in mind moving forward any time a Big Ten job opens, as there is the Big Ten and SEC, and there is everyone else. Those two leagues can outpay anyone, and in this environment that makes them dangerous for schools elsewhere that are looking to hang on to their coaches.
With that, let’s take a look at the potential candidates: