Interim coach Claeys: 'I want to be the next head football coach'


After a whirlwind day for the Gophers football program and the University of Minnesota, Gophers interim coach Tracy Claeys held his first press conference Wednesday night.

Amid the surprise resignation of head coach Jerry Kill Wednesday morning and the appointment of Claeys as the interim head coach, the Gophers are attempting to prepare for a primetime home game against Michigan Saturday night.

While Claeys said there is no doubt they'll miss Kill, the interim head coach left no doubt about what he wants.

Claeys, who also served as the interim coach for a stretch of games in 2013, said he's been approached about other job opportunities, but Minnesota is his dream job.

Claeys began working with Kill 21 years ago as a defensive line coach at Saginaw Valley State. He has followed Kill every step of the way as they helped build programs from Division II to the Big Ten.

Claeys helped turn the Gophers defense into one of the top units in the Big Ten. ESPN notes that he has been a nominee for the Frank Broyles Award (given to the top assistant in college football) in each of the past two seasons.

As for Saturday night's game against Michigan, Claeys said the players have continued to work hard through the day's difficult circumstances.

Here is Claeys' press conference in its entirety.

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