Tag:Joel Maturi
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:40 pm
 

MWC commish 'open' to Minnesota AD job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi won't be officially retired until June 30th, but the school would like to have his successor in place before then, and one name that has come up is current Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson.

Thompson, who has been the commissioner of the Mountain West since the conference was first formed in 1999, is a Minnesota graduate. He's also said he's open to the idea of returning to the school to run its athletic department.

"But there would be a million questions to learn more about the position," Thompson told the Pioneer Press. "Is there a budget deficit? Is fundraising the issue? Is the focus on rebuilding the football program? Are there academic concerns? Is there a support system to graduate student-athletes? There would be a lot more to know about the needs and wants of the athletic department before you can even think about taking the next step."

While there are plenty of questions for Thompson to ask Minnesota, there are probably just as many questions for him to ask the Mountain West. The first question being, what would Thompson's role be within the conference should it merge with Conference USA?

With the future of the Mountain West being unclear at the moment, this might be the best time for Thompson to make the next move in his career.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:37 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 12:20 pm
 

Minnesota AD Joel Maturi retiring

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi will retire on Thursday, the school announced. The school has a press conference scheduled for 11am to make the announcement. 

Maturi's contract was expiring and the school did not want to renew it.

Maturi sent an email to Minnesota's student-athletes, coaches and staff on Thursday morning to inform them of his retirement.

“It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that ... I will announce my retirement as the director of athletics at the University of Minnesota effective June 30th,” Maturi said in the email. “There is sadness because I have enjoyed every day of this 10-year journey. There is excitement because President [Eric] Kaler has asked me to remain next year as a special assistant to the president.” 

Maturi became Minnesota's athletic director in 2002, and was the first athletic director in school history to run an athletic department that had united both men's and women's programs. He also oversaw the fundraising and construction of the football team's TCF Bank Stadium. Still, in spite of his accomplishments at the school, it was the school's lack of success on the football field that may have ultimately led to his retirement.

Maturi hired Tim Brewster in 2007 after firing Glen Mason even though Brewster had never been a head coach or even a coordinator above the high school level. Minnesota went 15-30 under Brewster, who was fired after a 1-6 start in 2010 and received a buyout from the school. After Brewster's firing, a group of former Minnesota football players rallied against allowing Maturi to lead the next coaching search.

Minnesota then hired Jerry Kill from Northern Illinois with the help of former president of the alumni association, Dave Mona.

Maturi's contract runs through June 30th, and a search for his replacement will begin soon, as president Eric Kaler plans to have a replacement in place for July 1st.

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Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill readmitted to hospital

Posted by Chip Patterson

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill announced on Sunday that he is readmitting himself to the hospital to treat ongoing seizure issues he has been suffering since his incident on Sept. 10.

Kill suffered a seizure in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's home loss to New Mexico State two weeks ago, and admitted to dealing with multiple seizure events since that scare.  He was last released from the hostpital on Sept. 15, just five days after the event.

“Coach Kill is determined to get this issue resolved,” director of athletics Joel Maturi said in an official release. “We all want what’s best for him, and his health is our first and foremost concern. I have full confidence that our football staff will get the team prepared while Jerry is away. We all want him back on the sidelines. But it’s time to find a resolution.”

According to the school, Kill suffered another seizure on Sunday morning. The Gophers' head coach is in good condition and his vital signs are reportedly "strong." There is no timetable for his dismissal from the Mayo Clinic or his return to the sideline for the team.

For more information on the Golden Gophers be sure to check out our Minnesota Rapid Reports.

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Posted on: December 11, 2010 11:43 am
 

Brady Hoke would leave San Diego for Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke was mentioned quite a bit as a candidate for the Minnesota job before the school decided to hire Northern Illinois' Jerry Kill.  Hoke had interviewed with Minnesota AD Joel Maturi in San Diego at the job before deciding to stay in southern California and sign a two-year contract extension at the school.  Though just because Hoke signed an extension, that doesn't mean there isn't one job he would leave the school for this winter if it became available to him.

Even his school president knows that.  SDSU President Stephen Weber says that if the job at Michigan came open, he's almost certain that Hoke would leave his school for Ann Arbor if the job was offered to him.  And he's happy about it.

“If he were offered the opportunity, I have got to believe there is no way we can compete with that,” Weber told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And I kind of like the fact we have a coach who (would be) in play for a place like the University of Michigan. C’mon, this is a good thing.”

Weber says he's known this since he hired Hoke.  He said during the interview he asked Hoke how he saw San Diego State fitting into his career arc, and Hoke told him that the arc ended at Michigan.

Of course, whether that Michigan job comes open or not, we don't know yet, as Michigan AD Dave Brandon has said he's going to wait until after the bowl game to make a decision on Rich Rodriguez.  Plus, there's the question of whether or not Jim Harbaugh would be interested in taking the job, because you have to think that he would be the school's first choice.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 7:40 pm
 

Minnesota AD offered head coach spot to Alvarez?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The St. Paul Pioneer Press published a back-and-forth between reporters Bob Sansevere ("BS") and Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi ("JM") today, regarding Minnesota's recent hire of Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill. To call it "unusual" might not do the exchange justice; it's probably requires reading in full. Here's just a snippet, revealing just a fraction of the candor Maturi displayed today:

BS: You're the one who said you'd try to get another Tubby.

JM: Yeah, I did. I offered it to Barry Alvarez, and he didn't take the job.

BS: I've heard you say that three times now. Did you truly say, "Barry, do you want to come here and coach the Gophers?"

JM: Yeah, I did.

BS: And his response?

JM: He said, "I like what I'm doing. And my days of coaching are done."

BS: So you were sincere when you asked?

JM: Well, I know Barry pretty well now.

BS: But it was a serious offer?

JM: Oh, yeah. Heck, yeah. I said, "If we could make this work."

Yes: Maturi asserts, repeatedly, that he would have given the Minnesota job to Alvarez, who is on the doorstep of 64, hasn't coached in five years, and has spent the last 20 years in the service of Minnesota's biggest and longest rival. Amazingly, that offer wasn't accepted.

One might notice that "Tubby" comment at the beginning of the excerpt above. That's a reference to Minnesota coach Tubby Smith , who was a high-profile coach from a high-profile school. Upon firing Tim Brewster earlier this year, Maturi had said that he would make another "Tubby Smith" hire. Regardless of the overall quality of the hire, which will become apparent over the next few years, Jerry Kill probably doesn't qualify under those guidelines. That, according to Maturi, is the fault of the guidelines, not the school:

BS: Do you feel the Tubby Smith comment was taken out of context?

JM: Well, I guess what I'm trying to tell you is, I knew we weren't going to get a BCS head coach. Now, I'd like to get a splash like that. Let's be honest about it. I'm not trying to downgrade Minnesota. The intention was to get somebody people can accept, people will feel good about, and hopefully will be successful and revered as much as Tubby Smith. It's words that I wish I would have taken back, quite frankly.

BS: The kind you'd like to shove back in your mouth?

JM: Yeah, I would. I'll be honest with you in regards to that. Again, I'm not trying to discredit us or whatever it is, but how many BCS head coaches would leave there to come here? If you could give me a couple, I'm willing to listen to you, especially successful ones.

In other words, Maturi is fully and freely admitting that he had no shot at bringing a big name to Minnesota, new stadium be damned.

Now, there's one crucial piece of background information that will help this all come into much sharper focus: Maturi's contract is up next year, and there's a strong sentiment in Minneapolis that Maturi won't be back. He'll be in his late 60s by the time his contract expires, his teams at Minnesota have struggled as of late, and he has little incentive to stay at the post. Most damningly, he has abandoned the typical non-committal press-speak, and that's a sure sign that his tenure's just about at an end, and that end is of his own volition.

Posted on: November 24, 2010 11:26 am
 

Brady Hoke has talked to Minnesota

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's starting to look like Minnesota may finally be moving closer to their goal of finding a new head coach.  According to a few reports, San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke talked to an official from the University of Minnesota about the head coaching job over the weekend.  Hoke wouldn't go into details when asked about any meetings, but he did admit that a meeting took place.

"I did have an informal conversation about an opening that's out there," said Hoke. The Aztecs coach also said he wasn't going into any details "out of respect for that other school and the kids we have here that we're 100 percent committed to and will stay committed to."

Which sounds nice, but I'm not exactly sure how you can say you're 100 percent committed to the kids you currently have about 15 seconds after you admit you just talked to another school about another job.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Hoke for taking the meeting, I would too.


As for who Hoke had the meeting with, Monday Night Football sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya said on her radio show Tuesday that she shared a plane from San Diego back to Minnesota with a few familiar faces. Those faces being Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi and his assistant Dave Mona. Though I suppose it's possible that they were just in San Diego for the weekend on holiday.

Minnesota has said that it would like to have its head coaching search wrapped up before the holidays, and while the prospect of finding someone before Thursday doesn't seem strong, it's possible that the school could have its coach by the end of next week.  After all, when Hoke left Ball State to take over in San Diego, he did so at the end of the regular season and before the bowl game.

It's not crazy to think he'd do it again.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Minnesota needs Mike Leach, not Tony Dungy

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Minnesota has officially fired Tim Brewster the search for a new head coach in Minneapolis has already gotten under way.  Heck, the Gophers have already been turned down by their top target, Tony Dungy. 

Though Dungy is willing to help his alma mater out in finding its next coach, and he even has somebody in mind.   Unfortunately for Minnesota, the man that Dungy has in mind is not the answer to what ails the Gophers.  I'd also guarantee that the man the school does need is not on Tony Dungy's radar.

Pirates prefer to stay off the radar.

While Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Lesley Frazier may be a good coach, the fact is he's never been a head coach, and no matter how much Tony Dungy likes him, Frazier won't make Minnesota a destination.

Mike Leach would.

If Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi doesn't place a call to Mike Leach before he does Frazier, or any other potential candidate, he's doing a disservice to his school.  Mike Leach is a head coach that would not only bring attention to Minnesota, but he'd also reinvent the program, and just might turn the Gophers into a legitimate threat in the Big Ten.

When was the last time Minnesota could say that?

Yes, there are possible distractions with Leach.  I can't look past the alleged treatment of his former receiver, Adam James.   Still, I can't help but think that if Adam James wasn't the son of ESPN's Craig James, Leach's pirate ship would still be anchored at Texas Tech.

Aside from that one mistake in Lubbock, though, look at what Leach has done with his football teams on the field.  In ten seasons at Texas Tech the Red Raiders never had a losing season, has had ten straight bowl appearances, and never won less than seven games in a season.

You know how many times Minnesota can say they've done any of that in the last ten years?  Let's see, the Gophers have had five winning seasons since 2000, four of which came when Glen Mason was the head coach.  The school has won more than seven games only twice in those ten years, though they have gone to eight bowl games.

They finished higher than fifth in the Big Ten once in those ten years.

In other words, the Gophers have had very similar success to what Texas Tech had before they hired Mike Leach.

So the question for Maturi is this: does he want to go with the career coordinator who might bring a winning tradition to Minnesota, and is good friends with Tony Dungy, or does he want to go with the coach who has proven he knows how to win football games and can put a school on the map?

Seems like an easy decision to me.  If Minnesota wants change then a mutiny is in order, and you need a real pirate to do that.

Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:15 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 7

Posted by the College Football Blog Staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles would look like the endgame genius against Urban Meyer and Florida? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Highly Unlikely

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore sprains his knee when he trips while running onto the field during pregame ceremonies, and all of a sudden, the Broncos must face San Jose State with a brand new quarterback. Boise coach Chris Peterson blames San Jose State and their groundskeeping for the mishap, and feeling untold amounts of shame, SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre forfeits the game. Moore recovers fully for the Broncos' next game, and Boise's march to a 12-0 regular season continues unabated. -- Adam Jacobi

As the closing seconds count down on the scoreboard at Ross-Ade Stadium, Tim Brewster looks up at it to see the final score: Purdue 37, Minnesota 13.  Knowing that these are probably the last few seconds that he'll spend on a sideline COMPETING and FIGHTING  with the Gophers, his emotions get the best of him.  Danny Hope begins to make his way to midfield to meet the coach, but instead Brewster bursts into tears and sprints off the field.  He then hides in a supply room deep within the bowels of the stadium, refusing to come out until eventually Minnesota AD Joel Maturi lures him out by promising he's not going to fire him.  Brewster then opens the door and comes out, his face red and blotchy, covered in tears.  "Really?" he asks Maturi.  "No, you're totally fired," says Maturi before kicking him in the groin. -- Tom Fornelli

Arizona's slide continues after falling to Oregon State despite getting some help from the replay officials.  This time, facing Washington State, the home officials give the Wildcats a taste of their own medicine and refuse to replay a game-winning touchdown that was actually an incomplete pass. Mike Stoops has no timeouts, and the Cougars quickly kick the extra point to pick up that elusive first conference win. It is later revealed that the replay official was Washington State alumnus Drew Bledsoe, who emerges from the booth in full Wazzu regalia and facepaint. The Pac-10 finds no fault in this. -- Chip Patterson

Severely Unlikely

With Texas trailing Nebraska 24-7 just before halftime, Mack Brown makes his way over to Colt McCoy who is watching the game from the sidelines.  "Listen, I need you to come to the locker room at halftime.  Give these boys a pep talk."  McCoy agrees, but Brown was lying.  Instead Brown locks Garrett Gilbert in a shed -- hey, it's popular in Texas -- and convinces McCoy to put on Gilbert's uniform.  McCoy then goes out and leads Texas to a comeback victory, finding James Kirkendoll for the game-winning touchdown with, you guessed it, one second left on the clock. -- Tom Fornelli

Michigan's defense pitches a shut out against Iowa. The Big House rocks as Denard Robinson totals 600 total yards of offense and the Wolverines bounce back from the loss to "Little Brother" with a performance for the ages as the Wolverines reclaim a spot in the Top 25 with a 48-0 win over the Hawkeyes. Adrian Clayborn, struck with grief, eats 400 cheeseburgers on the ride home and gives up on the NFL for a career in the lawn and garden industry. Turns out Clayborn is quite the green thumb. -- Chip Patterson

The Kansas football team shows up to an empty Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Head coach Turner Gill and his Jayhawks were under the impression that their game would be played on Saturday, and thanks to various elaborate pranks by Kansas State fans, they had no idea that they had been scheduled to play on Thursday night. KSU coaches, upon finding out that Kansas had not appeared for the game, dressed their scout team in KU colors and had them put up token opposition. Somehow, they also had a scout team Turner Gill. The garbage-time touchdown Kansas State allowed to its double agents was a sublime touch. -- Adam Jacobi

Completely Ludicrous

McNeese State trots into Death Valley on Saturday night and shines under the lights. LSU quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine for an NCAA-record 11 interceptions, five of which are returned for touchdowns.  The other six picks are hideous arm-punts that prevent the Tigers from finding the end zone once. Patrick Peterson returns 4 kick offs for touchdowns, but LSU falls 35-28. -- Chip Patterson

Emboldened by reports that he was coaching with his job on the line, Tim Brewster leads his team to an emotional 35-34 victory over a frisky Purdue squad... then rips off five more wins to finish the season, culminating in a 55-0 revenge win over Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's 7-5 (6-2) record and a host of other conference losses among the rest of the Big Ten vault the Gophers into the Rose Bowl, making them the first five-loss team to earn a trip to Pasadena. A month before the game, Brewster announces that he's leaving the Gophers to coach his beloved Texas Longhorns; Mack Brown has retired, as expected, but the program was stunned when defensive coordinator (and presumptive next head coach) Will Muschamp pulled a simultaneous "sympathy retirement." The Gophers hire Mike Leach on the spot, and the new Pirate Gophers stun Oregon on January 1st, 45-31. -- Adam Jacobi

There's nothing out of the ordinary taking place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.  It's early in the fourth quarter and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a healthy 24-6 lead over the Rebels, but then suddenly a bright, white light can be seen in the sky.  Those who notice it assume that it's a comet or meteor passing by the planet, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger before everyone suddenly realizes it's coming right for them.  As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it is some kind of UFO, in fact, the space ship actually looks like a piece of fried calamari.   It lands at the 50-yard line, and out comes Admiral Ackbar.  Knowing immediately what's taking place, the new Ole Miss mascot makes a break for it before he is apprehended by members of the Rebel Alliance.  The Rebel Alliance then holds a trial on the field, determining whether or not the Bear shall live.  This does not please Nick Saban.  After a few minutes Saban walks briskly up to Admiral Ackbar, takes his gun, and executes the Bear himself before saying, "There.  NOW GET THE HELL OFF OF MY FIELD."  Ackbar and his soldiers sheepishly retreat to their ship and take off.  Not even the Rebel Alliance wants to mess with Nick Saban. -- Tom Fornelli

 
 
 
 
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