BOULDER — The high-flying offenses of the Pac-12 are about to clash with the stout defensive style of the SEC in Boulder.
Mel Tucker was hired as the University of Colorado's next head football coach on Wednesday, and with him comes a toughness developed from guiding some of the best defenses in college football. The former defensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs was introduced as the 26th coach in CU history at a press conference Thursday morning.
"This is a no-excuse program as of right now," Tucker said. "We're here to win, and we're here to win big."
Tucker went on to explain that his work had already begun by meeting with his new players and getting them to buy into his vision.
He also stated that the new standard for the Buffaloes moving forward would be to compete for championships, saying that there was no reason for his program not to be part of those types of conversations.
"Why not us? Why not the University of Colorado? Why not the Buffs? Why not CU?" Tucker said. "It's been done here before. This is a great place, great university, great tradition, great facilities. The time is now."
Tucker's contract with CU will be for five years and $14.75 million, pending approval from the Board of Regents.
He comes to Colorado with a plethora of coaching experience, albeit none as head coach with the exception of a five-game interim stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. His NFL experience includes defensive work with the Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears.
At the collegiate level, he has most recently been on staff of powerhouse programs like Alabama and Georgia. Six-time national champion coach Nick Saban has personally hired him three different times (Alabama, Louisiana State, Michigan State).
"I believe you win championships by having great defenses," CU Athletic Director Rick George said. "Nick Saban has hired him three times, probably a reason for that -- because he's one of the best in the business ... That speaks volumes."
As far as what Tucker's coaching staff at Colorado will look like, time will tell who will be staying and going. He said he would give it thought over the weekend before making any official decisions.
"We're going to live tough, we're going to eat tough, we're going to practice tough," Tucker said. "It's going to be who we are."