Darrin Chiaverini named interim Colorado coach after Mel Tucker leaves for Michigan State

Colorado assistant Darrin Chiaverini was named the interim coach of the Buffaloes on Wednesday, less than a day after Mel Tucker accepted an offer to become the coach at Michigan State.

Chiaverini, 42, will lead the Buffaloes into spring practices that begin next month after Tucker's late-at-night departure to Michigan State. Chiaverini has spent the past four seasons as Colorado's wide receivers coach. This past season, he also served as the Buffaloes' first assistant head coach since Rip Scherer served in that role for Jon Embree in 2011-12.

"I have a lot of confidence in Darrin to lead us through this interim period," Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement. "He has been associated with the program beginning with his playing days 25 years ago and cares deeply about the Buffs."

Chiaverini, who played four seasons in the NFL with Cleveland, Dallas and Atlanta after starring at Colorado, is a highly respected recruiter and his receiving corps has posted the three most productive seasons in school history over the past three seasons.

"It's an honor to be named the interim head coach at the University of Colorado, and my focus will be to help make it a smooth transition for the student-athletes and the program overall," Chiaverini said. "This campus and the city of Boulder is where I grew up as a young man, and there's no better place to be than CU. The pride and tradition of the Colorado Buffaloes is something every student-athlete, like myself, in the country should experience."

George's search for a new head coach could include a former Colorado player (like Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs) or an outside prospect.

"We're going to go out and hire somebody that shares the same expectations that I do, that we're going to win a championship,'' George said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.