CHICAGO — Third-year Gophers head coach Jerry Kill loves to preach optimism. This season, he has a history of winning to show for it. Kill’s 19-year head coaching career has been a series of success stories, highlighted by dramatic improvements in his third seasons at different schools. His previous two teams — Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois — improved by six and three wins, respectively, in his third year. In both cases, his team won 10 games and its respective conference.
CHICAGO -- The Gophers' success on and off the field has steadily increased during Jerry Kill's 32 months leading the program. But the head coach's message has remained the same. "When you build a program, it all starts in the classroom," Kill said Thursday at Big Ten media days in Chicago. "It all starts on how you handle yourself. That eventually moves right over to the field."
CHICAGO -- The NCAA's controversial "targeting rule" to protect defenseless players drew mixed reviews Wednesday at the first of two Big Ten media days. The rule requires that players "who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulder" be ejected starting this season. Targeting will also incur a 15-yard penalty as it has in previous seasons. Several Big Ten head coaches, including Minnesota's Jerry Kill, said they support the attempt to increase player safety.
The University of Minnesota’s plan for a privately funded renovation to Les Bolstad Golf Course will adopt an academic focus this summer. The University has hired a third party to conduct a feasibility study for the renovation, which was included in the University’s recent Six-Year Capital Plan with a $7.5 million budget.
The Gophers men’s track and field program isn’t the Midwest powerhouse it was a few years ago, but it took small strides toward regaining its edge this season. Minnesota earned 11 All-America honors at the NCAA outdoor meet June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. That’s eight more than it tallied in 2012, an off-year by the program’s high standards.
An unusually cold and wet spring hasn’t stopped the Gophers men’s track and field team from succeeding in the postseason. After weeks of canceled meets and rescheduling early in the season, Minnesota’s athletes have performed their best in their last two meets — the Big Ten outdoor championships May 10-12 and last weekend’s NCAA regional. The Gophers sent 25 athletes to the regional in Austin, Texas, and advanced 10 to the NCAA championships for the second year in a row. Two weeks earlier, they placed second at the conference outdoor meet.
Junior Alec Crawford threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball after a rough start, and the Gophers kept their season alive Friday with a 3-1 victory over Illinois in the Big Ten tournament at Target Field. Minnesota (32-21) still needs to win four games in three days, including a second game Friday against Nebraska, to win the tournament. A tournament championship would give the Gophers an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, but a loss would likely end their season.
Gophers soccer star Taylor Uhl has asked for a release from her scholarship and will transfer, the team confirmed Tuesday. The sophomore forward was one of the top players in the nation. She had 21 of the Gophers’ 44 goals and led the Big Ten in points last season. She was the Gophers’ top goal- and point-scorer in both 2011 and 2012. “I’ll always be a Gopher fan at heart,” Uhl posted to her Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. “Thanks to everyone at the U who has helped me in my time here. Trusting God through this new journey.”
Rumors swirled around the Internet about the next Gophers head men’s basketball coach in the hours following Tubby Smith’s dismissal Monday. But the University of Minnesota’s athletics department has kept mum despite the rampant speculation. Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague said Monday that he had a “short list” of candidates to replace Smith but did not name anyone.
The University of Minnesota fired head men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith on Monday after six seasons with the team, ending an era marked by improvement, underachievement and scrutiny. Smith’s dismissal also comes at a cost of more than $3 million for an athletics department that has borrowed millions from the University’s central fund in recent years.
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