Tag:Minnesota Coaching Search
Posted on: December 3, 2010 6:48 pm
 

Navy athletic staffer shoots down Minnesota rumor

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier today, some rumors started floating that Minnesota had interviewed Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and considered him a finalist for the Gophers' head coaching spot. Unsurprisingly, the rumors were started by Tom Dienhart , who -- and we don't mean this as pejoratively as it probably sounds -- does this sort of thing a lot.

Well, Navy associate SID Scott Strasemeier is on Twitter, and caught wind of Dienhart's reporting. Hilarity, as they say, ensued.

"Tom, this is not true," Strasemeier replied to Dienhart. "Coach Niumatalolo has not interviewed with Minnesota nor have we been contacted for permission."

This isn't the first time that one of Dienhart's rumors has been shot down by a school official on Twitter; just last week, Dienhart's rumor about Rich Rodriguez 's imminent firing was dismissed by Michigan AD Dave Brandon in a tweet, although it's debatable whether RichRod did himself any favors on that front yesterday.

Still, between this and the Jon Gruden follies from earlier this week, it's demonstrably important to take any rumors of coaching hires or interviews with a grain of salt -- provided that grain is the size of an ottoman. Besides, if the school's conducting its business properly, its new coach's name won't be floated until the hiring's announced.

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: 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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