Nick Saban lent a hand to a place that helped put him on the map over two decades ago during its search for a head coach, according to a recent report.
Tony Paul of The Detroit News reported that Saban, currently the head coach at Alabama, offered some assistance while Michigan State was conducting its head coaching search. The longtime SEC head coach was previously the leader of the Spartans from 1995-99 before taking a job at LSU.
Early Wednesday morning, Colorado head coach Mel Tucker agreed to become the next head coach at Michigan State, despite turning down the opportunity last week. He will replace Mark Dantonio, who was in charge for 13 seasons. Dantonio stepped down last week, one day before National Signing Day.
From The Detroit News:
“‘I’m very interested in Michigan State having the right person,'” Saban said in the phone call, according to the source. “And they weren’t bashful about asking Nick.”
Tucker was one Saban’s staff at Michigan State in 1997 and 1998, serving as a graduate assistant. That was where Tucker got his start, before landing his first head coaching gig at Colorado over 20 years later.
Now, Tucker is set to be the next guy in charge in East Lansing. He brings just one year of head coaching experience, leading the Buffaloes to a 5-7 record last season. However, Tucker does have over 20 years of experience on the sidelines at both the college and professional level.
Michigan State and Tucker made the decision official on Wednesday afternoon, releasing a statement.
It’s unclear what kind of role Saban would have had in the coaching search. But it sounds like he wanted to help his old university find the best candidate and right fit for the job.