After a bit of a winding search following Mark Dantonio‘s surprising retirement, Michigan State football appears to have found its man. Colorado’s Mel Tucker has agreed in principle to become the next coach with the Spartans, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

Tucker has a short history with Michigan State — he was a graduate assistant with the Spartans for two seasons in 1997 and 1998 — and a significantly longer one in the Big Ten. Tucker played defensive back at Wisconsin, and after spending the two seasons after his graduate assistantship with Miami (Ohio) and LSU, he moved on to coach defensive backs at Ohio State, growing into the defensive coordinator role in 2004, his final year there.

A string of NFL jobs followed, with Tucker serving as defensive coordinator the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars — he also went 2-3 as an interim head coach with the Jaguars — and Chicago Bears before moving back to college as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Alabama in 2015, winning a national championship.

He then followed fellow Alabama assistant Kirby Smart to Georgia, working as Smart’s defensive coordinator. That put him in line to move into his first full-time head coaching job with Colorado.

The Buffaloes went 5-7 in his lone season on campus, thought Tucker also created reasons for optimism by inking the No. 35 class in the 247Sports Composite, one that included three four-star prospects.

Michigan State saw several candidates deny interest in the job, with Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell electing to stay with the Bearcats after he was reportedly interviewed over the weekend.