Mel Tucker is finished as head coach of Michigan State soccer after what has been a shocking few weeks of allegations and revelations on the college. Michigan State offered him with written discover of intent to terminate his contract for trigger. The information comes amid MSU’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations towards the coach, who lower than two years in the past signed a 10-year, $95 million contract extension amid an 11-2 run.
This system is reeling — the Spartans had been crushed at house in Week 3 by Washington, trailing 35-0 at halftime — however the job will nonetheless be a really enticing one. It’s had three AP top-10 finishes previously 9 seasons and is an upper-tier program in a convention drawing in huge cash within the wake of the Large Ten’s huge TV deal.
The job isn’t the primary emptiness of the season within the Large Ten (Northwestern is), however this can be a way more interesting teaching job. Michigan State is just not fairly on the stage of archrival Michigan, Penn State or Ohio State, however with the convention retiring its divisions, the panorama ought to be a bit extra manageable optically. Count on loads of Energy 5 head coaches to get critical consideration.
Who will get consideration from Energy 5 ranks?
Mike Elko, Duke, head coach
Let’s begin with one of many coaches I consider Northwestern additionally would goal. The 45-year-old from New Jersey had a terrific debut season in 2022, main Duke to a 9-4 file. His workforce, at the moment ranked No. 18, began out this season with a bang by beating Clemson and is off to a 3-0 begin. That’s all wow stuff.
A former Ivy League defensive again, he labored at Fordham, Richmond, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Texas A&M. MSU has a wealthy basketball historical past, like Duke, however it’s not as a lot of a pure basketball college as Duke is — and the ACC doesn’t have the cash the Large Ten has. This one may get fascinating.
Lance Leipold, Kansas, head coach
Leipold is virtually a miracle employee for what he has completed in Lawrence, Kan. The 59-year-old from Wisconsin, who received six Division III nationwide titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater earlier than turning Buffalo into an AP Prime 25 workforce, acquired the Jayhawks into the Prime 25 final yr after a putrid decade of soccer in Lawrence. This yr, KU’s off to a 3-0 begin. It is a name in the event you’re MSU, you in all probability must make as a result of tLeipold is an elite soccer coach, and he has confirmed it all over the place he has been.
Chris Klieman, Kansas State, head coach
Leipold’s in-state rival can be a smart alternative if he’s . Klieman and the Wildcats had been final yr’s Large 12 champions, and though the Large Ten has significantly better sources than the Large 12, Klieman is working for a similar athletic director at Ok-State that he had when he was profitable nationwide titles at North Dakota State. Klieman is taken into account nearly as good as there’s inside the convention.
P.J. Fleck, Minnesota, head coach
Phrase is the Spartans have some curiosity in Fleck, who has completed a pleasant job bringing a variety of stability to a program that was reeling when he left Western Michigan. The 42-year-old is 46-28 at Minnesota, and that features an 11-2 season and a top-10 end in 2019. He has an excellent job within the Large Ten, however it’s value noting that MSU is a program that has reached the Faculty Soccer Playoff earlier than so it wouldn’t shock us if he’d contemplate it.
Timeline of sexual harassment allegations towards Mel Tucker, MSU’s investigation
Who will get consideration from Group of 5 ranks?
Willie Fritz, Tulane, head coach
Fritz can be a strong candidate. A former defensive again at Pittsburg State in Kansas, he has had double-digit win seasons at each stage of school soccer, going 97-47 at Central Missouri, 40-15 at Sam Houston State and 17-7 at Georgia Southern.
Now he has it rolling in New Orleans. In 2022, he led Tulane to a 12-2 season that included a Cotton Bowl win over USC and a No. 9 end. Tulane is 2-1 this fall, and I may see him in play at Northwestern — and he can be an apparent alternative at Kansas if Leipold jumps to MSU.
Jason Candle, Toledo, head coach
A former MAC Coach of the Yr, Candle has received no less than 9 video games 3 times in his seven seasons with the Rockets. He’s a well-regarded offensive thoughts and is anticipated to get some consideration for this job, in line with sources. The 43-year-old Mount Union product has received two MAC titles.
Charles Huff, Marshall, head coach
Huff is seen as a rising star. The 40-year-old Maryland native proved himself to be a high assistant at Penn State, Mississippi State and Alabama earlier than getting his shot to be a head man. He’s in his third season with the Thundering Herd and has gone 11-4 since 2022, together with a win over Notre Dame in South Bend.
MSU supplies Tucker with discover of intent to finish contract
Kane Wommack, South Alabama, head coach
Like Huff, Wommack is one other rising star head coach on the Group of 5 stage who has been an assistant within the Large Ten. Wommack performed a giant position in Indiana ending No. 12 in 2020 when he was the defensive coordinator. The 36-year-old is off to a formidable begin within the Solar Belt, turning round South Alabama; he went 10-3 final yr, together with a slender loss to UCLA on the Rose Bowl. His squad simply blasted Oklahoma State 33-7 in Stillwater.
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt, head coach
One wild-card sitting head coach possibility: Narduzzi, a beloved former defensive coordinator below Mark Dantonio. The 57-year-old was an excellent DC and introduced loads of edge to MSU. He’s been actually strong in virtually a decade working Pitt’s program and has had consecutive Prime 25 seasons the final two years, going 20-7. Would he need to return to East Lansing? I’m undecided about that. He has an excellent job in an amazing metropolis, however he has been there a very long time, and the Large Ten has much more stability than the ACC.
Invoice O’Brien, New England Patriots, offensive coordinator
O’Brien is one other wild-card candidate who may find yourself within the combine. He is aware of all about getting into messy conditions, having taken the Penn State job within the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. O’Brien did a wonderful job coping with all kinds of points and getting issues again on observe. He received the Bear Bryant Award in 2012 and went 15-9 in two seasons earlier than leaving to turn out to be the Houston Texans’ head coach. He had 4 playoff seasons and left with a 52-48 file. Whether or not he needs to return to school once more stays a thriller, however this can be a good Large Ten job.
How good is the Michigan State job? Pluses, minuses as teaching search begins
Sean Lewis, Colorado, offensive coordinator
The highest candidate from the assistant ranks I feel will probably be Lewis. He has head teaching expertise from his time at Kent State, the place he did a extremely good job at a troublesome place to have any sustained success, going 18-10 within the MAC in his final 4 seasons. He led Kent State to its first bowl win earlier than leaving this low season to turn out to be Deion Sanders OC at Colorado.
As he defined to The Athletic final week, the transfer was prompted by him virtually getting the Cincinnati head teaching job final winter, however Scott Satterfield, a coach with Energy 5 expertise ended up getting it on the final second, so Lewis determined it was time for a pivot. At Colorado, he has proven as soon as once more that he’s an excellent offensive thoughts. The 37-year-old former Wisconsin quarterback-turned-tight finish was very nicely considered amongst his gamers and can be a compelling possibility for MSU.
Why Sean Lewis left Kent State to be Deion Sanders’ OC
Matt Home, LSU, defensive coordinator
Home is a Michigan State graduate who started his teaching profession as a Spartan graduate assistant. The 45-year-old, a protege of Steve Spagnuolo, did a extremely spectacular job at LSU final yr, regardless of having seven new starters and lacking his most proficient defensive lineman in Maason Smith. The Tigers rose from tenth within the SEC in scoring protection to fifth. Additionally they jumped from No. 13 to No. 3 in red-zone landing share. His inventory figures to rise if LSU finally ends up making a Faculty Soccer Playoff run.
Sherrone Moore, Michigan, offensive coordinator
Moore is a sizzling title contained in the teaching world, however would MSU attempt to rent from its archrival? And would the 37-year-old actually be tempted? If Jim Harbaugh does go away sometime for the NFL, and maybe that might occur this winter, Moore would make a variety of sense to be his alternative. He has been a significant assistant to the Wolverines’ rise the previous two seasons, as his offensive line has received consecutive Joe Moore Awards because the nation’s high unit.
His work within the trenches and as a recruiter has performed a key position in Harbaugh getting this program to the highest of the league, dominating rival Ohio State the final two years. Individuals contained in the Michigan program are large believers in Moore, gushing about his capacity to attach with the gamers and say that gamers will run by a wall for him, partially as a result of he’s very real.
Brian Hartline, Ohio State, offensive coordinator
One different Large Ten assistant to observe is Ohio State OC Brian Hartline. The previous NFL wideout has confirmed to be arguably the highest assistant coach within the nation the previous few seasons, recruiting one elite wideout after one other and growing them into first-round draft picks. The 36-year-old Canton, Ohio, native may very well be an intriguing possibility particularly given his capacity to land high expertise and the eye to element he has proven in direction of his craft.
Harlon Barnett, Michigan State, interim head coach
Barnett, a 56-year-old former Spartans standout, has an opportunity to win the job, however it’s a giant uphill battle that began with a 41-7 blowout loss at house towards Washington. If he can lead MSU to a couple upsets, he may coach his means into this job full-time. However with 4 ranked opponents forward, together with three top-10 groups, the percentages will not be nice.
(Prime picture of Mike Elko: Lance King / Getty Pictures)