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Mel Tucker

Date of birth : 1972-01-04
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Cleveland, Ohio
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-10-23

Mel Tucker is in his second season as defensive coordinator for the Jaguars. Now in his 14th year of coaching and his sixth in the NFL, Tucker joined the Jaguars on January 24, 2009.

Last season the Jacksonville defense saw many lineup changes. Overall, 21 different players made starts on defense including four rookies. Among those rookies were two 16-game starters – both drafted in the third round – in cornerback Derek Cox and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. The defensive unit had the same starting lineup in consecutive games only once in 2009.

Prior to joining the Jacksonville staff, Tucker coached for four seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2005-08). He served as defensive backs coach for three seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. Under Tucker’s guidance the Browns ranked fifth in the NFL from 2005-08 with 73 interceptions and allowed the fourth-fewest completions of 25-plus yards (78).

The 2008 Browns defense ranked 14th in NFL pass defense (204.6) and tied for third with 23 interceptions. The defense finished with 31 takeaways, tied for the third-most in the NFL. Tucker was responsible for the development of two young safeties in 2007 in Sean Jones and Brodney Pool, and two rookie cornerbacks who made an immediate impact. 2007 second-round pick Brandon McDonald tied for sixth in the NFL in 2008 with five interceptions while Jones had four interceptions.

In 2006 the Browns secondary was depleted by injuries, yet ranked 15th in the NFL in pass defense. The unit lost starters Daylon McCutcheon in training camp and Gary Baxter in week seven, and Leigh Bodden missed seven games with an ankle injury. Jones and Daven Holly tied for the team lead with five interceptions apiece. In his first season with the Browns, Tucker’s secondary unit ranked fourth in the NFL in pass defense.

Prior to joining the Browns, Tucker spent eight seasons on the collegiate level as an assistant coach. Tucker coached for four seasons on Jim Tressel’s staff at Ohio State. He coached defensive backs and was co-defensive coordinator during the 2004 season. Two of Tucker’s Ohio State players, strong safeties Michael Doss and Will Allen, earned first-team All-America honors, while cornerback Chris Gamble was a second-team All-America selection.

Tucker began his coaching career at Michigan State as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban from 1997-98. He spent the 1999 season as defensive backs coach at Miami (Ohio) before serving in the same capacity at Louisiana State in 2000 under Saban.

Tucker was a standout basketball and football player at Cleveland Heights High School. He was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1995 with a degree in agricultural business management. Tucker and his wife, Jo-Ellyn, have two sons, Joseph and Christian.

BACKGROUND

Michigan State 1997-98, Miami (Ohio) 1999, Louisiana State 2000, Ohio State 2001-04, Cleveland Browns 2005-08, Jacksonville Jaguars 2009-10


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