Tag:Minnesota Coaching Rumors
Posted on: November 3, 2010 10:03 am
Edited on: November 3, 2010 10:10 am
 

Fulmer: Minnesota 'has great potential'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Yesterday, reports began to surface that former Tennessee head coach and current CBS College Sports analyst Phillip Fulmer had emerged as a candidate for the open coaching position at the University of Minnesota.  Initially, there was some speculation as to the probability of Fulmer being enticed by the position.  After all, names such as Tony Dungy, Mike Leach, Scott Linehan, and Marc Trestman (the hometown favorite), have all come up in reports since Tim Brewster's firing in mid-October.

Also, as Tom Fornelli pointed out, there is doubt that Fulmer, 60, would want to take on the task of rebuilding a program that has not seen overwhelming success in quite some time.  But after seeing his interest in the Louisville job, eventually given to Charlie Strong, it is fair to assume that Fulmer is most interested in coaching, less so where.  When asked by the Knoxville News Sentinel about any possible contact with Minnesota, Fulmer was non-committal, though he did offer some kind words about the program.     

“Minnesota has great potential, and with its new facilities it’s a place you could recruit to,’’ Fulmer told the News Sentinel on Tuesday night. “I believe it’s a place where you can compete.’’

COMPETE. There is that operative word for a program that has not won a conference title since 1967.  Fulmer would bring an awfully impressive resume to Minneapolis, particularly 13 nationally ranked finishes in his 17 years of head coaching.  While athletic director Joe Maturi said that he preferred the next candidate "get" Minnesota, other sources have indicated that a "Tubby Smith-type hire" may be probable to fill Brewster's position.  While Fulmer spent nearly all of his coaching career with the Volunteers, he is a seasoned and respected in the national scene.  His pedigree would elevate the program's status almost immediately, the challenge would be utilizing that status to produce winning seasons.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 1:23 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 1:42 pm
 

Minnesota interim Jeff Horton standing by Weber

Posted by Chip Patterson

Minnesota football fans no longer have Tim Brewster to absorb their blame for another failed season in Minneapolis.  While the athletic department is working on narrowing down the list of candidates for his replacement, current interim head coach Jeff Horton has his hands full trying make the best of the games left on the slate in 2010.  With Brewster gone, much of the negativity from the Minnesota faithful has been directed at starting quarterback Adam Weber.  After picking up their eighth straight loss, the emails have been pouring into Horton's account on a daily basis.  According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the e-mails have become so plentiful Horton has created an auto-reply:
He replies to some of the thoughtful ones, spikes the more profane, but can't find time to answer them all. So to save him the trouble, here's a public reply -- all, straight from the keyboard of the Gophers' decision-maker,

Re: Adam Weber and MarQueis Gray. Dear Gophers Fan: No, there are no plans to change quarterbacks. None. Not now, maybe not ever this year. Thanks for your support, and Go Gophers! -- Jeff

"I think I've been pretty clear," Horton said.
Wide receiver MarQueis Gray is reported to only be taking about 10 percent of the snaps during the week in practice, and at this point in the season it would be pointless to try and install a new offense based around Gray's running and decision-making ability.  There has been talks of a pistol package being installed at Minnesota, but with only three games left on the schedule the best chance to win is to stick with the offense at hand and pray for the best.  Weber hasn't even really been that bad as a quarterback, his 17 touchdowns are good for fourth in the conference and statistically is quite similar with Michigan State's Kirk Cousins.  But for a 1-8 team that still has yet to win a game in conference play, statistics are not good enough for the fans.  Sounds like there won't be any changes though, so they might as well get used to it or continue to receive auto-reply's for the remainder of the month. 
Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:50 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 9:54 am
 

Kevin Sumlin emerging as Minnesota frontrunner?

Posted by Chip Patterson

While Minnesota interim head coach Jeff Horton has his hands full this week preparing the Golden Gophers for their conference matchup with Ohio State, athletic director Joe Maturi and the rest of the Minnesota administration are busy trying to narrow the list of coaching candidates.  Several high profile names were tossed around initially (Dungy, Leach), but the one that is gaining steam is current Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Marcus R. Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported early Wednesday morning that there was "lots of love being thrown Kevin Sumlin's way all of the sudden."  Of all the active coaches on the Golden Gophers' radar, Sumlin is one of their most high profile options.  He has only in his third season as a head coach, but his Division I coaching career goes back almost two decades.  

There are several factors that make Sumlin seem like a great fit at Minnesota. Maturi has already stated that the next Golden Gophers head coach needed to "get Minnesota," and Sumlin served as an assistant at Minnesota from 1993-1997.  Sumlin's staff at Houston also has Minnesota connections, with assistant head coach Tony Levine a former Gophers WR and Minnesota native.  He is already getting endorsements from the Gophers football community, most recently from former offensive line coach Gordy Shaw.

Sumlin appears to be a great fit for Minnesota, and a much more favorable option to throwing a ton of money at an inactive coach.  At 46, Sumlin still has a lengthy career ahead and with all of the personal connections to the area (his wife is a native as well), could be interested in setting up shop for the long term.

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Posted on: October 20, 2010 11:21 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:24 am
 

Scott Linehan gets endorsement for UM job

Posted by Chip Patterson

Tim Brewster's mid-season firing from his post as head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers had led to an early spin of the coaching carousel.  But what would college football be if we couldn't sit around discussing coaching rumors.  Tony Dungy, reportedly one of Minnesota's top targets, has already declined interest in the job.  It has been suggested that Minnesota should seek the services of former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, and he has already stated he is willing to listen to anybody.  Jeff Horton, the Golden Gophers first-year offensive coordinator, has found himself assuming the duties of the departed Brewster and has already begun endorsing candidates for the open position when he was speaking to the media on Tuesday.

"Scott Linehan would be an awesome candidate," said Horton, who was chosen to coach the Gophers' final five games this season after Tim Brewster was fired Sunday. "He would bring his record here with the Vikings, and their offense speaks for itself. He's coached in college before. He knows the college game, and he's been on the highest level in the pros."

Linehan has spent the better part of the last decade bouncing from several different positions in the NFL.  He served as the offensive coordinator at Minnesota (including the high-octane 2004 season, referenced above), Miami, and served the same position for the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions.  Linehan's only head coaching experience was a brief stint with the St. Louis Rams that included an 11-25 record and getting fired four games into his third season.  Horton has spent the last four season working on Linehan's staff (2006-2008 with St. Louis, 2009 with Detroit), and clearly wants to get his "close friend" back into the college game.  Linehan's last college coaching experience was serving as offensive coordinator from 1996-2001 at Washington and Louisville.

Linehan does not bring the type of resume that Leach would, and might not be the first choice of fans and boosters.  The Pioneer Press suggested on Tuesday that Minnesota might pursue former Golden Gophers quarterback Marc Trestman.  Trestman, now head coach of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, would not address the situation with the Canadian press.

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 1:55 pm
 

Report: Brewster coaching for his job on Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster believes that his squad could be 5-1 and sitting near the top of the Big Ten right now. The coach has remained positive about his Golden Gophers squad despite the current five game losing streak that has included dropping games to Northern Illinois and South Dakota.  In fact Minnesota's only win was a 24-17 squeaker against Middle Tennessee.  Brewster has been sitting on a flaming hot seat since the beginning of the season, and now it looks like his time at Minnesota could be closing quickly.

Yahoo! Sports' Tom Dienhnart reported Friday that Brewster may be coaching for his job against Purdue on Saturday.



Granted, Minnesota's AD could have been having routine discussions with Brewster's representatives, but chances are that this threat could be very real.  Brewster's firing has been a done deal in the opinion of many, and this just puts a final date on it.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com