Michigan State Spartans head football coach Mel Tucker is reportedly making a significant hire to his staff. According to Mick McCabe of the Detroit Free Press, Tucker is adding Thomas Wilcher — one of Michigan’s top high school football coaches — as an analyst. Wilcher previously served as the head coach for Detroit powerhouse Cass Technical High School.
Update, July 7: Wilcher will serve as director of community and high school relations for MSU.
After 23 seasons, 190 wins and 3 state titles at @Detroit_CTFB, coach @thomaswilcher is joining the staff at @MSU_Football. https://t.co/RYSMT0viS9— Mick McCabe (@MickMcCabe1) June 25, 2021
Interestingly, Wilcher is a former running back and track star for the University of Michigan, which is, of course, Michigan State’s biggest rival school. Wilcher played for the Wolverines in the 1980s. However, after a successful 23-year run at Cass Tech, where Wilcher amassed an overall record of 190-70 with three state championships and one runner-up finish, he was looking to move on to the college ranks.
In addition to his Technician teams’ success on the field in the high school ranks, Wilcher has sent several players to play at the college football and NFL levels. For example, Jourdan Lewis, Delano Hill and Donovan Peoples-Jones, amongst others, all played for Wilcher at Cass Tech before going on to play for the Michigan Wolverines and eventually getting drafted into the NFL. Joe Barksdale also played for Wilcher, and then at LSU, before going on to an eight-year NFL career.
Wilcher previously spoke with the Detroit Free Press about his desire to coach at the college level, noting how many players he has help get to the college and professional ranks.
“So there alone it provides insight to what I can do as a coach,” Wilcher previously told the Free Press. “And those are the things you have to look at — sometimes it’s not about the win-loss. The win-loss is one thing, but what we’re trying to do right now is how to make these men top players.”
While Wilcher’s hire has not yet been confirmed by Michigan State, McCabe was told by various anonymous sources of the move. Rumors of Wilcher’s hire were mentioned throughout the day on social media and various online message boards.
The exact role and duties Wilcher will have with the Spartans as an “analyst” are yet to be determined. According to Rainer Sabin, also of the Detroit Free Press, Wilcher will be able to help with recruiting efforts, and will be allowed to contact prospects directly through phone and video calls.
In an off-field role, Wilcher will be still be able to contact recruits. NCAA membership voted in November (it didn't get much publicity) to allow support staffers to make phone calls and video calls to recruits. https://t.co/iY3DUP6BcS— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabin) June 25, 2021
This seems to be a great move for Tucker, as Wilcher has many connections in the Detroit area, throughout the state of Michigan and beyond. Wilcher’s addition should definitely have a positive impact on recruiting and the program overall.