New head coach Mel Tucker talks about building new culture at Michigan State
Mel Tucker was on the job in East Lansing for about a month until the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country. The new Michigan State head coach and his staff have been forced to get to know their players via video conferences, text messages and social media as opposed to having face-to-face interaction.
It’s not an ideal way to begin a new job. But the challenges aren’t steering Tucker away from his goals in East Lansing. The former Colorado head coach plans on building a new culture and continuing to set the bar high for the Spartans football program.
Thursday, Tucker met with the media for the first time in months to talk about fall camp, practicing through a pandemic, and several other topics. Culture was at the top of Tucker’s talking points.
“We have to build a new culture,” Tucker said, according to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press. “But at the same time, we respect the tradition of Michigan State. …It’s time to establish a new way of doing things. That’s been a lot of fun.
“We’re building a brotherhood here. …We have to be accountable.”
Michigan State finished last season with a 7-6 record and former head coach Mark Dantonio opted to step down following the 2019 campaign. Since the team’s phenomenal 2015 season, MSU has been about a .500 program.
Tucker is hoping to build a consistent winner in East Lansing, much like Dantonio did for most of his career.
Because Michigan State missed so much spring practice and summer workouts together due to the pandemic, Tucker says the goal is to “ramp these guys up” for the start of the season. He said that everyone in the program will get their shot to play, saying “Everyone here is gonna get a fair shake.”
Michigan State are scheduled to open the season on Sept. 5 against Minnesota.