Mel Tucker Names Ted Gilmore Tight Ends Coach, Announces Additional Staff Hirings

Tucker also announced the hirings of Geoff Martzen as the Director of Player Personnel, Cody Cox as the Director of Football Operations, and Darien Harris as the Director of Player Engagement.

97.1 The Ticket
February 21, 2020 - 12:52 pm
Ted Gilmore

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State head football coach Mel Tucker has announced that Ted Gilmore will be joining the Spartan offensive staff as the tight ends coach.

A 25-year coaching veteran with experience at the FBS and NFL ranks, Gilmore has developed numerous NFL players, draft picks and All-Americans during his coaching career. He was named the 2011 FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year after mentoring consensus All-American Robert Woods and 2011 Freshman All-American Marqise Lee at USC.

Gilmore, 52, arrives in East Lansing after spending the previous five seasons (2015-19) as the wide receivers coach at Wisconsin; he was also the offensive pass game coordinator his last three years in Madison. The Badgers posted a 52-16 record during his five seasons at UW, including three Big Ten West Division titles, a trip to the Rose Bowl, and wins in the Cotton, Orange and Pinstripe Bowls.

“Coach Gilmore is a great teacher and excellent motivator who brings high energy,” said Tucker. “He’s a proven developer of players and a very effective recruiter. He’s a true difference maker.”

Tucker also announced the hirings of Geoff Martzen as the Director of Player Personnel, Cody Cox as the Director of Football Operations, and Darien Harris as the Director of Player Engagement.


Gilmore joins Jay Johnson (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Chris Kapilovic (offensive line coach/run game coordinator), Courtney Hawkins (wide receivers) and Harlon Barnett (defensive backs) as new additions to Tucker's staff this week. Tucker previously announced that Mike Tressel and Ron Burton will be back on the defensive staff for the Spartans.


Under Ted Gilmore’s tutelage, Wisconsin’s Quintez Cephus became of the one best receivers in the Big Ten, earning second-team all-conference honors from Pro Football Focus in 2019 after ranking among the league leaders in receiving yards (seventh with 901), receptions (seventh with 59) and touchdown catches (tied for seventh with seven). Cephus, who declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, finished his career with 93 catches for 1,496 yards and 13 TDs.

In his first season at UW in 2015, Gilmore mentored senior Alex Erickson to first-team All-Big Ten honors for a season in which he caught 77 passes for 978 yards. Gilmore also guided the emergence of receivers Rob Wheelwright and Jazz Peavy. Peavy went on to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten laurels as a junior in 2016, leading the Badgers with 635 receiving yards and five touchdown catches. Wheelwright enjoyed a strong senior campaign, logging 448 receiving yards and a touchdown, before being selected for the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and earning a free agent deal with the New York Giants.

Gilmore re-entered the college coaching ranks with Wisconsin in 2015 after spending three seasons as the wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders (2012-14).

Before moving to the NFL, Gilmore spent 18 years at the collegiate level. He coached at USC in 2011 and was named FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year for helping to mold one of the top receiving corps in the country, led by 2011 Biletnikoff Award finalist and consensus All-American Robert Woods and 2011 Freshman All-American Marqise Lee. Both went on to be selected in the second round of the NFL draft.

Prior to USC, Gilmore spent six seasons as the wide receivers coach at Nebraska (2005-10), adding the title of assistant head coach in his final three seasons while also serving as the Huskers’ recruiting coordinator.

Gilmore also coached wide receivers at Colorado (2003-04), Purdue (2001-02) and Houston (2000). He was the tight ends coach at Kansas in 1999 and coached wide receivers at his alma mater, Wyoming, the previous two seasons.

In 2003, while at Colorado, Gilmore coached D.J. Hackett, who set the Buffaloes’ single-season receptions record (78), earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and was drafted in the fifth round by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

At Purdue, Gilmore mentored future NFL players Taylor Stubblefield and John Standeford. Stubblefield went on to become a consensus All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2004 while setting the NCAA career receptions record with 316.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Gilmore entered the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Wyoming, under head coach Joe Tiller from 1994-96. During that time, Marcus Harris, the 1996 Biletnikoff Award winner who was a two-time first-team All-American (1995-96) and three-time All-Western Athletic Conference first teamer, set NCAA records for most career receiving yards (4,518 yards) and consecutive seasons with 1,400 receiving yards (3) and twice led the nation (1994 and 1996) in receiving yards per game before being chosen in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions.

After beginning his playing career by spending two years as a receiver at Butler Community College, Gilmore lettered at Wyoming from 1988-89. He caught 40 passes for a team-best 594 yards and three touchdowns as a junior to help the Cowboys to the 1988 Holiday Bowl and he added 32 receptions for 445 yards and two TDs as a senior to earn second-team All-WAC honors.

Born on March 21, 1967, Gilmore earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wyoming in 1991. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a daughter, Taylor, and a son, T.J.



GILMORE AT A QUICK GLANCE: Gilmore has coached in 266 FBS games as a full-timer (162-104 record).


POSTSEASON COACHING EXPERIENCE: 13 bowl games (2001 Sun, 2002 Sun, 2004 Houston, 2005 Alamo, 2007 Cotton, 2009 Gator, 2009 Holiday, 2010 Holiday, 2015 Holiday, 2017 Cotton, 2018 Orange, 2018 Pinstripe, 2020 Rose).



Graduate assistant at Wyoming (1994-96)

Wide receivers coach at Wyoming (1997-98)

Tight ends coach at Kansas (1999)

Wide receivers coach at Houston (2000)

Wide receivers coach at Purdue (2001-02)

Wide receivers coach at Colorado (2003-04)

Wide receivers coach at Nebraska (2005-07)

Assistant head coach/wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator at Nebraska (2008-10)

Wide receivers coach at USC (2011)

Wide receivers coach with Oakland Raiders (2012-14)

Wide receivers coach at Wisconsin (2015-16)

Offensive pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach at Wisconsin (2017-19)

PLAYING EXPERIENCE: Two-year letterwinner as a wide receiver at Wyoming from 1988-89. Played two seasons at Butler Community College in 1986-87.



Geoff Martzen arrives in East Lansing following one year as the director of player personnel under Tucker at Colorado in 2019.


Martzen, 30, joined the CU staff from UCLA, where he worked as the Bruins’ director of player personnel for the 2018 season, having been hired by Chip Kelly in January of that year. He previously held the same position at Colorado State for the 2015 through 2017 seasons.


“Geoff is an outstanding evaluator of talent and players,” said Tucker. “He’s a tireless worker and a competitor. He really understands the importance of recruiting and how it’s the lifeblood of the program.”


Martzen joined the CSU staff under its new head coach, Mike Bobo, ahead of the 2015 season. At CSU, he played a key role in the Rams’ overall recruiting efforts, coordinating several aspects of the year-round student-athlete recruitment process. Additionally, he served as the liaison between CSU and NFL scouts for Pro Day events, and assisted with camps, clinics and other football-related activities.
His first director of player personnel position came at BYU, which hired him 2013. In Provo for two years, he also served as the on-campus recruiting coordinator in addition to other responsibilities including identifying prospects, planning recruiting events, maintaining communication with recruits via social media and providing recruiting aids for coaches. 
Prior to heading to BYU, Martzen was a personnel specialist, assisting in coordinating the recruitment of high school and junior college recruits, at both Alabama in 2012 and Boise State in 2013. In working under Nick Saban at Alabama and Chris Peterson at Boise State, he helped in the coordination of two top recruiting classes for two of the nation’s winningest head coaches.
Before entering the collegiate ranks, he was a high school football coach in Fresno, California, at Sunnyside and Reedley High Schools.
Martzen earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Fresno State in 2011, and started working toward a master’s degree at Alabama in sports and fitness administration in 2012 and at Boise State in kinesiology and exercise science in 2013.
He was born June 21, 1989, in Reedley, California, and graduated from Reedley High School, where he lettered in football. 



Cody Cox is entering his fourth season on the full-time Spartan football staff, his first as Director of Football Operations.

In his previous roles as the Director of Executive Football Operations (2019) and the Assistant Director of Football Operations and Camp Coordinator (2017-18), Cox helped coordinate the day-to-day operations of the program. Those responsibilities included planning, organizing and coordinating the annual football calendar, preseason camp, home and away team travel, training table, player guest tickets and all team related events and functions. Cox managed the design and creation of the team rules, regulations and philosophies handbook titled “The Winner’s Manual” and was also responsible for planning and coordinating all aspects of the Michigan State summer football camps.

Cox also helped organize and coordinate all day-to-day football-related activities for former Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio and served as the football office’s liaison to the athletic communications staff. 

Prior to his role as the assistant director of football operations/camp coordinator, Cox worked with the MSU football operations staff as the graduate football operations assistant from 2014-16. Before his GA role, he worked alongside the coaching staff as an offensive student assistant coach over the course of 2011-13. Cox worked as a student worker in the video department during the 2010 season.

Cox earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2014 and his master’s in sports administration from the College of Education in 2016, both from Michigan State.

Cox and his wife, Molly, are in their first year of marriage.



Darien Harris, a former Spartan captain on the 2015 Big Ten Championship team that reached the College Football Playoff, will be Michigan State’s Director of Player Engagement.


“Darien Harris is an outstanding role model for our current players,” said Tucker. “He was a captain on the Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff team in 2015 and has demonstrated incredible leadership and mentoring skills. He’s a very good communicator and will be able to connect with our team. He recently completed his master’s degree and is ready to mentor our players during their time here on campus.”


A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Harris was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 2011-15, starting two seasons at Star (weakside) linebacker. He was voted a co-captain by his teammates in 2015. Harris collected 154 tackles, including 13 for losses (28 yards), in 54 career games with 25 starts; the 54 career games played is tied for the most of any Spartan player in Michigan State history.


Harris, 26, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2015 and his master’s degree in marketing research in 2019.


During his four-year Spartan career, Harris helped lead Michigan State to four bowl games, collecting 15 tackles in those postseason contests, including tying a career high with two tackles for loss (2 yards) and posting eight stops overall in the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic vs. No. 2 Alabama. Harris saw extensive action at middle linebacker in the 100th Rose Bowl Game against fifth-ranked Stanford, collecting a then-career high five tackles, including a half tackle for loss, in the win over the Cardinal.


Harris attended high school at DeMatha Catholic, where he was a two-year starter for Coach Bill McGregor. Following his Spartan career, Harris spent time in the Canadian Football League with Ottawa and served as an analyst for the Big Ten Network while finishing his master’s degree at MSU.