College football notebook: Colorado names Tucker head coach

Colorado hired Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as its head coach, the school announced Wednesday. He will be introduced Thursday and begin immediately.

Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Mel Tucker on the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tucker replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov. 18. Colorado athletic director Rick George has asked the university Board of Regents to approve a five-year, $14.75 million deal at its meeting this month.

“If you go back last month when I talked about what I wanted in our next head coach, you’ll find that Mel checks all those boxes,” George said. “He has great experience and a terrific pedigree; I like the way he coaches football, his toughness and accountability. Those are the things we were looking for.”

Tucker never has served as head coach in college but brings a long resume. He spent the past three seasons in Georgia, where the Bulldogs had the nation’s No. 15 scoring defense (18.5 points per game) this season. He also coached at three schools under Nick Saban — Michigan State, LSU and Alabama — as well as at Ohio State.

—Kliff Kingsbury is now officially in charge of the Southern California offense. The former Texas Tech coach will serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Trojans. The 39-year-old Kingsbury replaces Tee Martin, who was fired last week.

“We are very excited to welcome Kliff to the Trojan Family,” USC coach Clay Helton said in a statement. “He is a brilliant offensive mind and is on the cutting edge of the game today. His offenses have consistently been at the top of the college football statistical rankings. With the talent on our team, along with his leadership and coaching, I truly believe that we can take our offense to new heights.”

The Trojans went 5-7 this season for the school’s first losing season since 2000. Kingsbury was recently dismissed by Texas Tech after going 35-40 in six seasons, but he has long been praised for his offensive innovation and ability to work with quarterbacks at the schools where he has coached. His students include Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech, Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M and Case Keenum at Houston.

—Two players from the Class of 2020 are reopening their recruitment following the announcement that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl.

Four-star safety Lejond Cavazos and four-star offensive lineman Jake Wray had committed to the Buckeyes before changing their minds this week. Both said they still consider Ohio State a top school as they ponder their eventual destinations. The Buckeyes still have six commitments in the 2020 class, including five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. from Cincinnati.

Meyer announced Tuesday he will step down as Ohio State head coach. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day will be the new head coach of the Buckeyes.

—Former Michigan State defensive end Auston Robertson was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty last month to sexually assaulting a female student. The 21-year-old will spend at least three years and seven months in prison. He also must register as a sex offender.

He previously entered a guilty plea to assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration in the 2017 attack, which happened in the woman’s off-campus apartment. He agreed to the plea bargain after a judge ruled earlier this year that if the case went to trial, prosecutors could present evidence that two other women allege Robertson raped them in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Part of the Class of 2016, he appeared in seven games that fall for the Spartans. He was removed from the team in April 2017 after the woman came forward and he was charged.

—Field Level Media

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