SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Mike MacIntyre had to change his Christmas plans at the last second. He's more than happy about it.
San Jose State has hired the Duke defensive coordinator to replace Dick Tomey as football coach. MacIntyre, who assumes his first head job, was formally introduced Thursday.
"I grew up a coach's son so today is a great moment for me," MacIntyre said. "Coach Tomey is a legend in our field and I've followed him from afar."
MacIntyre teared up a little when speaking of his father, former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and was unable to attend the news conference.
"He's a man I love and admire very much," MacIntyre said. "I wish he could be here."
San Jose State went 2-10 this season under Tomey, who announced his retirement last month. Tomey spent five seasons with the Spartans, going 25-35 and leading them to a bowl game in 2006.
The 44-year-old MacIntyre spent the past two seasons at Duke. He has also worked as a secondary coach in the NFL with Dallas and the New York Jets and spent five seasons as an assistant at Mississippi.
In MacIntyre's first season, Duke's defense allowed 23.4 points per game, its lowest total in 20 seasons, and held three opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1976.
"David Cutcliffe [Duke's head coach] has been like a second father to me," MacIntyre said. "He showed me what it's like to build a program."
MacIntyre also served on Cutcliffe's staff at Ole Miss from 1999-02, helping the Rebels to appearances in the Independence Bowl (1999, 2002) and Music City Bowl (2000).
"After I met with Tom Bowen [San Jose State athletic director] and he told me, I sat there for a moment and then called my wife," MacIntyre said. "It was a special moment. I sat there and told myself, 'It's time. This is what I wanted, I've worked for it, I've earned it and now I have to go do it."