(CNN)Michigan, he's coming home.
Mel Tucker has been named Michigan State University's new head football coach, the team announced this afternoon. Tucker, 48, will return to the place where his coaching career began -- he was a graduate assistant under now Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.
"Returning home to Michigan State is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and my family but it created the toughest decision of my life -- to leave Colorado," Tucker said in the news release.
"There is no way to fully express my gratitude to the Buffalo student-athletes, Rick George, and our staff. I am incredibly thankful for our time together and I will always believe in Colorado football."
The 23-year coaching veteran's decision to resign from his former head coaching job at Colorado State University left the program heartbroken.
"We are disappointed to see Coach Tucker leave," Rick George, the school's athletic director, said in a news release. He said a search for Tucker's replacement was already underway.
Tucker's resume includes five seasons as a defensive coach in the Southeastern Conference (2000, 2015-18), four seasons at Ohio State (2001-04), and 10 seasons in the NFL (2005-14). He earned the head coaching job at the University of Colorado just last year.
Tucker's been to 11 postseason bowl games and won two national championships with Ohio State University (2002) and Alabama (2015). He has a 106-36 overall record as a full time college football coach.
Tucker graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1995, where he played both cornerback and safety.