Michigan State's Mel Tucker named regional coach of the year
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker continues to be recognized for lead the Spartans to a record turnaround in 2021.
A week after being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tucker on Monday was named the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) FBS Region 3 Coach of the Year. Tucker is one of five coaches to earn regional honors and is now a finalist for the AFCA’s FBS National Coach of the Year, which will be announced Jan. 9.
Also selected were Luke Fickell of Cincinnati, Sam Pittman of Arkansas, Jeff Taylor of Texas-San Antonio and Blake Anderson from Utah State.
In his second season, Tucker led Michigan State to an eight-win improvement, going 10-2, including 7-2 in the Big Ten, after a 2-5 mark in 2020. The 10th-ranked Spartans will play No. 12 Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 in Atlanta.
Tucker was named to watch lists for National Coach of the Year by the Dodd Trophy and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award, and was named national coach of the week by the Dodd Trophy and The Athletic following Michigan State's 37-33 victory over No. 6 Michigan on Oct. 30. Tucker became the first Michigan State coach to beat Michigan in each of his first two appearances in the game.
Tucker leads Michigan State into the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 against Pittsburgh.