3 big issues facing Gophers football following Claeys' firing

Tracy Claeys' termination signals a challenging time ahead for Minnesota football.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

There are some big questions facing the Gophers football program at a critical time, following the termination of coach Tracy Claeys Tuesday.

University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle said a national search to replace Claeys is underway.

Here is a look at the three biggest challenges facing the Gophers football program right now.

1. What will happen with current players?

There is no question the decision to terminate Claeys will not sit well with many Gopher football players.

If there was any question about that, check out what some players – including quarterback Mitch Leidner told ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy Tuesday.

Other players turned their frustration towards social media Tuesday. So expect some transfers.

The timing is also challenging because it comes less than one month before National Signing Day, so time is of the essence.

2. Is Minnesota an attractive job?

While the situation around the Claeys dismissal may be a drawback for any coaches looking at the Minnesota job, overall the job isn't a bad one.

During his press conference Tuesday evening Coyle was confident they would find a football coach.

The university has had some trouble filling previous positions, but according to The Daily Gopher, there are some reasons why the job should be attractive to a new coach.

  1. Facilities
  2. Young defensive talent
  3. Big Ten West
  4. Recent trend of success.

3. Who are names to watch?

While it's too soon to say for sure, one name to watch during the Gophers hiring process is Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck. Before Claeys was let go on Tuesday there were reports linking Fleck to Minnesota.

He led Western Michigan (13-1) all the way to the Cotton Bowl this year where they were beaten 24-16 by Wisconsin Monday.

Other names could include:

Gus Bradley: Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach. He's a Minnesota native and has a ton of experience as a college coach – including 10 years as the North Dakota State defensive coordinator.

Bryan Harsin: Boise State head coach. Coyle hired him at Boise State when Chris Peterson left for Washington.

Craig Bohl: We'll throw in another local name. Bohl, the head coach at Wyoming, led the Cowboys to an 8-6 record this year, appearing in the Poinsettia Bowl where they lost to BYU 24-21. Bohl spent 11 seasons (2003-13) as the head coach at NDSU, where his team won three straight NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championships.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

Related

3 big issues facing Gophers football following Claeys' firing

Tracy Claeys' termination signals a challenging time ahead for Minnesota football.

Gophers AD to meet with Claeys about future of Gophers football

Gophers AD to meet with Tracy Claeys about future of the football program.

Gophers AD to meet with Claeys about future of Gophers football

Gophers AD to meet with Tracy Claeys about future of the football program.

Gophers AD: Tracy Claeys 'is our football coach'

Get ready for more of Tracy Claeys leading the Gophers.

Gophers AD: Tracy Claeys 'is our football coach'

Get ready for more of Tracy Claeys leading the Gophers.

Celebrations, anger at U of M following Tracy Claeys' termination

The U of M's decision to fire Tracy Claeys has created strong emotions on both sides.

Celebrations, anger at U of M following Tracy Claeys' termination

The U of M's decision to fire Tracy Claeys has created strong emotions on both sides.

Watch: Tracy Claeys questions fairness of Title IX investigations

Former Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys calls for more fairness in Title IX investigations.