Mel Tucker
File:Mel Tucker Jan 2018.jpg
Tucker in 2018
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1972-01-04) January 4, 1972 (age 48)
Cleveland, Ohio
Playing career
Position(s)Defensive back
Head coaching record
Overall0–0 (college)
2–3 (NFL)

Melvin Tucker (born January 4, 1972) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Tucker was the interim head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) for five games in 2011. He has worked as the defensive backs coach at the University of Alabama and as the defensive coordinator for both the Chicago Bears of the NFL as well as the University of Georgia.[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Tucker was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Cleveland Heights High School where he was a football standout. He then attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he played defensive back for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. He graduated in 1995 with a degree in agricultural business management.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Tucker began his coaching career in 1997 as a graduate assistant for the Michigan State University Spartans under head coach Nick Saban.[4] In 1999, he served as a defensive backs coach for the Miami University Redhawks, and then in 2000 followed Saban to Louisiana State University to fill the same position with the LSU Tigers. In 2001, he became defensive backs coach for the Ohio State University Buckeyes under coach Jim Tressel, and in 2004 he was made co-defensive coordinator.[3]

In 2005 Tucker entered the National Football League (NFL) with the Cleveland Browns. He coached defensive backs from 2005–2007 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in the 2008 season following the firing of Todd Grantham.[5][6] Under Tucker, Cleveland consistently ranked fifth in the league, with the defense making 73 interceptions.[3] After the firing of Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, Tucker was replaced by Rob Ryan.[7]

In 2009 Tucker was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the defensive coordinator. In the 2011 season head coach Jack Del Rio put Tucker in charge of defensive play-calling, and the team quickly became the fourth highest rated in the NFL. On November 29, 2011, Tucker was named Jacksonville's interim head coach following the firing of Del Rio. He ran the team for their final five games and was in consideration for the job full-time until Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was named head coach on January 10, 2012. Tucker got his first victory as a head coach in week 14, a 41–14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went 2–3 as interim head coach. On January 12, 2012, he informed the media he would return to his position as defensive coordinator for the Jaguars. On January 13, 2012 it was announced that Tucker would also be the assistant head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. On January 18, 2013 Tucker was named defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.[8]

Following one of the worst defensive seasons in Bears' history in 2013, Tucker was criticized by the media.[9] As a result, the team fired two of Tucker's assistant coaches, linebackers coach Tim Tibesar and defensive line coach Mike Phair.[10] The Bears replaced them with Paul Pasqualoni as defensive line coach and Reggie Herring as linebackers coach.[11]

On January 20, 2015, following another record-setting low defensive season for the Bears, Tucker was replaced by former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio under new head coach John Fox.[12] He spent the 2015 season with the Alabama Crimson Tide as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach,[13] during which the team won the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship.[14]

In 2016, Tucker moved to Georgia as the defensive coordinator.[14]

On December 5, 2018, Tucker signed an agreement to become the Colorado Buffaloes football head coach starting in 2019.[15]

Head coaching recordEdit


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
JAX*2011 230.4004th in AFC South

* – Interim head coach


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Colorado Buffaloes (Pac-12 Conference) (2019–present)
2019 Colorado 0–0 0–0 (South)
Colorado: 0–0 0–0
Total: 0–0
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Stellino, Vito (January 24, 2009). "Jaguars sign Tucker as new D-coordinator". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  2. Mike Florio (November 29, 2011). "Del Rio out in Jacksonville". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Mel Tucker, Interim Head Coach". Jacksonville Jaguars. 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  4. Gene Frenette (November 30, 2011). "Low-key Mel Tucker takes center stage as Jaguars' coach". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  5. Associated Press (January 12, 2008). "Browns Fire Grantham as Defensive Coordinator". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  6. Bensch, Bob (January 12, 2008). "Cleveland Browns Promote Mel Tucker to Defensive Coordinator". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  7. Carucci, Vic (May 28, 2009). "Many teams make notable adjustments on defense". Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  8. "Chicago Bears name Mel Tucker defensive coordinator". National Football League. January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  9. Haugh, David (December 30, 2013). "Emotions aside, Bears must say bye to Mel Tucker". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  10. Dickerson, Jeff (January 13, 2014). "Bears fire two assistant coaches". ESPN Chicago. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  11. Meyer, Larry (January 23, 2014). "Bears hire two assistant coaches". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  12. Wright, Michael (January 20, 2015). "Vic Fangio new Bears D-coordinator".
  13. Zenitz, Matt (August 11, 2015). "Mel Tucker already making difference for Alabama, Kirby Smart says". The Birmingham News. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Associated Press (December 5, 2018). "Colorado hires Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker". ESPN. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  15. Howell, Brian (December 5, 2018). "Done deal: CU Buffs to hire Mel Tucker as head coach". Boulder Daily Camera. Retrieved December 5, 2018.

External linksEdit

Template:Pac-12 Conference football coach navbox

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