BOULDER — “This is what we’ve worked for. It’s been our dream."
On Thursday morning, JoJo Tucker watched as her husband, Mel, approached the podium to deliver his first statements as head coach at the University of Colorado. Their two sons, 16-year-old Joseph and 14-year-old Christian, sitting next to her in the front row, decked out in Colorado gear.
“I was just sitting there, thinking how proud I was of him,” said Joseph, the couples oldest son. “He’s been working for this for a long time. Longer than I’ve been around.”
During his press conference, Mel thanked former coaches Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, as well as his wife and kids. The couple have been together longer than he's been in coaching. He landed his first gig was at Michigan State in 1997 as a graduate assistant.
JoJo got her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her law degree from Rutgers University. She stopped practicing to take care of their children and support her husband on his coaching journey.
Since Joseph’s birth, the Tuckers have made stops in Columbus, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Chicago, Tuscaloosa, and Athens. As of this week, the move to Boulder marks their seventh city in 16 years.
“You kinda start to get used to it,” said JoJo. “You have little steps that you’ve put in place along the way.”
The top priority for the couple is their sons.
“We include the kids from the beginning so it’s not a shock to them. Then we find their activities, their schools.”
“It was rough the first few times,” said Joseph. “But when you grow up you’re like, my dad is doing something really special and it makes it so much easier.”
“You got to learn to connect with people cause as soon as you move to a new school, you’ve got to find friends,” added Christian.
The brothers are exactly two years apart, both born on February 18. Joseph is an avid soccer player and Christian is a standout lacrosse player but also plays football.
Once the kids are settled in their new schools (they have yet to decide where they will attend), the Tuckers will turn their focus back to football and back to rebuilding Colorado into a national championship contender.
“Relentless energy, dedication, commitment,” added JoJo. “He cares about his players.”
“He will recruit anyone. Anyone he wants will get here,” said Christian.
Big brother Joseph was confident when saying that his dad will bring a winning mentality to Boulder.
“When he says he’s going to change the culture here, we’re gonna win, I believe him 100%.”