Colorado has hired Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as its next head coach. The school announced the hiring Wednesday.

"Colorado has always been a place that I thought should be relevant in the national championship conversation year-in and year-out, because of its tradition and a seemingly endless list of what the school has to offer," Tucker said in a release from the school. "What we have to offer are some of the best facilities in the country, strong academics, and an amazing environment as a whole. Colorado should be a 'no excuse' program. There's absolutely no reason we can't achieve success at an extremely high level.
"I can remember when Colorado was dominant with players like Kordell Stewart, Rashaan Salaam, Chris Hudson, Darian Hagan, Alfred Williams and others. Colorado always had difference makers and was very dynamic on both sides of the ball. That's the imprint instilled in my mind when it came to CU. My plan is to continue to restore that tradition and make sure that Colorado once again becomes an elite national program. There's not a better place in America to live, to coach and go to school."

Mike MacIntyre was let go on Nov. 18 after six seasons with the Buffs. He accumulated a 30-44 record and only had one winning season, but it was a 10-win campaign that included a Pac-12 South title and national Coach of the Year honors for MacIntyre. 

"There's no doubt that the 2016 season was magical, and it appeared we were headed back to taking our place among the nation's elite," Colorado athletic director said at the time. " However, analyzing the direction of the program over the last two years, I felt this is the necessary time to make a change."

This is Tucker's first head coaching job after 21 years as an assistant at both the college professional levels. He spent one year at Alabama then left with Kirby Smart when Georgia brought smart on board to replace Mark Richt. Tucker was in the NFL from 2005-14, coaching for the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. 

Tucker emerged as one of the top Power Five assistants in the coaching cycle this year, and his arrival comes as Colorado was searching for an experienced coach who had success at the Power Five level. While he's never been a college head coach, the performance of Georgia's defense over the last two years serves as an impressive line on the resume, along with his lengthy list of references which includes Nick Saban.