Colorado is close to hiring its next head football coach.

On Tuesday afternoon, FootballScoop.com reported that CU and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker have reached an agreement for Tucker to become the Buffaloes' new head coach.

A source at CU told Buffzone.com that a deal has not been finalized yet. However, an official announcement and press conference are expected within the next 72 hours, barring any hiccups.

CU athletic director Rick George fired head coach Mike MacIntyre on Nov. 18, and has been in the process of finding a replacement ever since. For the past several days, the Buffs have zeroed in on Tucker, a long-time coaching veteran with no previous experience as a full-time head coach.

George is in New York this week for the National Football Foundation banquet and College Football Hall of Fame dinner and won't return to Boulder until Wednesday.

Tucker was reached by phone by Buffzone.com on Monday, but declined to comment on his situation.

"I wish I could, but I can't at the moment," he said.

Tucker, who would become the 26th full-time head coach in CU history, coached in Saturday's SEC championship game.

Tucker, 46, would bring a winning pedigree to Boulder.

As a player at Wisconsin, he was part of a Rose Bowl victory in 1993.

Tucker has worked at the highest levels of college football, as well as in the National Football League. As a coach, he has been a part of two national championship teams — Ohio State in 2002 and Alabama in 2015.


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A year ago, Tucker's defense ranked sixth nationally in points and yards allowed, as he helped the Bulldogs to the SEC championship and a trip to the national title game. The Bulldogs (13-2) lost to Alabama, 26-23 in overtime, of the title game.

This year, Georgia ranks 15th nationally in points allowed and 13th in yards allowed.

Tucker's only experience as a head coach came in 2011, when he led the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars for five games as interim coach. He has reportedly interviewed for college head coaching jobs during the past few offseasons, including at Tennessee a year ago.

MacIntyre led CU to the Pac-12 South division title in 2016, but the Buffs have posted back-to-back 5-7 seasons since. They placed last in the South in five of MacIntyre's six seasons.

This season, CU joined Kansas' 2009 squad as the only Power 5 teams since 1997 to start 5-0 and finish 5-7. The seven-game losing streak to close the season kept the Buffs out of a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 11 years.

CU's recent struggles are the opposite of what Tucker has experienced. In his 10th season as a full-time college coach, Tucker has never been on a losing team and has five times been on teams that won 11 or more games. His teams have posted a combined 101-29 record (77.7 win percentage).

Tucker spent 10 seasons in the NFL, from 2005-14, spending four years with the Cleveland Browns, four with the Jaguars and two with the Chicago Bears.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/bhowell33