Michigan State's Tucker picks new strength coach, director of player personnel

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State coach Mel Tucker continued to put his staff together on Thursday, naming Jason Novak as head strength and conditioning coach for football, while Scott Aligo will serve as the director of player personnel.

Last week, Geoff Martzen was hired as director of player personnel but will now serve as the program’s chief of staff.

Mel Tucker continues to build his coaching staff at Michigan State.

“Jason is definitely a high-energy coach,” Tucker said in a statement. “He has an incredible amount of experience, both at the NFL and collegiate levels. He’s a great teacher and motivator who develops his players. He’s also on the cutting edge of training and analytics. I’m really excited for him to start working with our players.”

Novak, who takes over for the retiring Ken Mannie, spent last year as head of physical conditioning at IMG Academy. Before that, he was director of strength and conditioning at Central Michigan for four years and spent 11 years as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tennessee Titans.

He was also director of strength and conditioning at Yale from 2003-04 and held a similar job at Alabama State from 2000-03.

Aligo has worked in player personnel at the NFL and collegiate levels, and has coached at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

“Scott has a really good eye for talent and is an excellent evaluator of players,” Tucker said. “He has worked in both the NFL and college, and has coaching experience as well. He also has strong Ohio ties from his previous positions.”

Aligo was the director of player personnel at Akron last year after serving in the same role at Chattanooga from 2017-18 and John Carroll in 2016. He was in the NFL for more than seven years, serving as a player personnel assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs (2005-09) and a personnel associate with the Cleveland Browns (2014-15).

On the field, Aligo was defensive ends coach at Northern Colorado (2014) and a defensive graduate assistant at Texas A&M (2012-14). He also spent time as a defensive quality control assistant at Oklahoma State in 2011 and was the primary defensive backs coach at Washburn in 2010.


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