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Tony Dungy just says no to Gophers

As the rumor mill machine was working overtime late last month in regards to the status of head coach Tim Brewster, reports surfaced that, if Brewster was canned, Minnesota would once again make a run at former Gopher quarterback Tony Dungy.

Dungy subsequently denied any interest in the position, even as the reports stated he was No. 1 on athletic director Joel Maturi‘s to-do list if/when Brewster was canned.

Apparently, those reports were correct.  Just as apparent, however, is Dungy’s resolve to stay off the sidelines.

In a press conference to officially put a face on Brewster’s firing, Maturi confirmed that he had already reached out to Dungy to gauge his interest in the vacancy.  As was the case three weeks ago, the current NBC NFL analyst politely declined to have his name tossed into the mix.

“To all, I have already contacted TonyDungy,” Maturi said in quotes released by the school. “Tony Dungy shared with me that he is not interested in getting back into coaching. But the good news is Tony Dungy is willing to do everything that he can to help us find the right leader for this program.”

With Dungy seemingly out of the picture, where will the school turn to for a replacement?  Obviously, Maturi did not divulge the Gophers’ plan of attack, but he did find the time during the presser to kick Brewster square in the now-former coach’s manhood.

“You’re not following Vince Lombardi here,” Maturi said of a coach that exited with a 16-30 mark. “This is a situation where, you know what, somebody can come in and win some games and people are going to feel good about him and they win a few more games and they’re going to feel really good about him. And if we go to the Rose Bowl, we might even put a statue of them outside of TCF Bank Stadium.”

Maturi was asked specifically about former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach replacing Brewster  His response?

“You know what, that’s what we’ll all determine,” Maturi said.

While Bellotti might seem like somewhat of a long shot, the initial speculation for a replacement has centered on both Leach and former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino.

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18 Responses to “Tony Dungy just says no to Gophers”
  1. swede700 says: Oct 17, 2010 5:31 PM

    The Gophers already have hired one former KU head coach in the past (Glen Mason)…don’t make the mistake of hiring another one.

  2. TheFoo says: Oct 17, 2010 5:44 PM

    Mangino? Give me a break.
    Go get Leach and call it a day. At least he can win without top flight talent.

  3. PossibleCabbage says: Oct 17, 2010 6:23 PM

    This should be obvious because Dungy is not a college coach. He doesn’t have success coaching in college, he doesn’t have experience coaching in college, and he doesn’t want to coach in college.
    He’d be a good face for the program, but other than that you’re hoping that a guy who (admittedly) is not a college coach, can become one.

  4. Wrathchild says: Oct 17, 2010 8:22 PM

    Maybe Fulmer?

  5. UnstayBill says: Oct 17, 2010 8:27 PM

    Herm Edwards is looking to call Minnesota home…

  6. 78Lion says: Oct 17, 2010 10:10 PM

    Wow, the AD is a real butthole. No need for those comments at all. The only reason he was let go during the year was to save the bonus he was due at the end of the year.

  7. MNRunLeft says: Oct 17, 2010 10:51 PM

    Mangino was actually on the sideline for the USC game a few weeks back which I thought was a bit unusual until someone said he was friends with Brew.

  8. funi says: Oct 17, 2010 11:43 PM

    Dungy will only go to a team that is ready to win or already a powerhouse. Watch his name come up for the Penn State job whenever Joe Pa decides to retire.

  9. Florida727 says: Oct 18, 2010 8:25 AM

    What a jerk of an AD Minnesota has. “You’re not following Vince Lombardi here.” I’m no Gopher fan, but here’s hoping you get exactly what you deserve… nothing. I hope you go down your list at least 10-15 names, with EVERYONE saying no thanks before you land someone. Minnesota? Who the heck wants to coach them? Nothing but a stepping stone to a REAL football school anyway.
    Look at the bright side though… you get to work for a real classy AD.

  10. Tdk24 says: Oct 18, 2010 10:32 AM

    I’m not sticking up for the AD, but i think he was replying to a comment about the pressure of coaching after Mason, who got them to a bowl every year.

  11. John Taylor says: Oct 18, 2010 10:58 AM

    @ Tdk24: Here’s the question Maturi was responding to:
    “How do you sell this opening to other coaches based on the lack of fan support that’s been displayed all season?”

  12. edgy1957 says: Oct 18, 2010 12:45 PM

    Minnesota needs to do a few things:
    1. With only 3 out of conference games soon, they need to schedule softer. Schedule 1 FCS and 2 MAC teams or 1 MAC and 1 Sun Belt. USC is a nice feather in your cap but it doesn’t help get you bowl eligible. This year’s lost to South Dakota hurt but in most years, they would get 3 wins out of 4 and need to go 3-5 in order to be bowl eligible. With only 3 games in the future, they have to keep their schedule to 3 winnable games because they can’t afford to go 2-1 and have to go 4-5 to make a bowl.
    2. Get a top notch recruiter. I know that every one of the “experts” believe that it’s the head coach but he’s just the finisher. names a Recruiter Of The Year and guess what, it ain’t a head coach (Larry Porter, last year’s winner was also a winner in 2007). Top recruiters of 2009 also included Norm Chow and Jimbo Fisher. The 2010 winner was Florida’s Steve Addazio.
    3. Avoid recycling a coach that was fired after a so-so record. If you want to be a winner, bring in a winner. Look for a guy who has put together a successful staff; otherwise, he’s going to extend himself in 8 directions. Maybe even try thinking out of the box. Chuck Martin, who followed in the footsteps of Brian Kelly, at Grand Valley State, might not be a bad choice. Notre Dame probably wouldn’t stand in the way of him getting a promotion and he’s been as successful as his mentor.
    4. Cast a wider net into the heart of Big 10 country. There’s always a lot of disappointed guys in Michigan and Ohio so why let them go to Central Michigan and Ohio University when you can offer them a chance to play IN the Big 10 and prove that both of those schools are wrong. Missouri has gone into Texas and gotten several players that way and so has Kansas. TCU can’t offer a Big 12 atmosphere for Texas kids but they do offer a pretty big market and they get a lot of kids who were disappointed by not getting the call from the Longhorns and they’re extra motivated when they play BCS schools.
    5. Try to build a strong state walk-on program. Nebraska’s kids want to play for the Huskers BUT if they don’t get a scholarship offer, they are more than willing to pay for their way for a chance to walk-on and earn one down the road. Hold back 5 scholarships a year for the walk-ons to fight over and see if that doesn’t give your team more bang for their buck.
    6. Cultivate a better working atmosphere in state. You’re THE university in Minnesota so act like it. Every kid should want to play for the Gophers and it only happens when the coaches and players feel a connection to the school.
    7. Give the coach 6 years to turn the program around. Things go in cycles and it’s going to take 3 years for the coach to get the players in for HIS offense and defense and another 3 for him to get the kind of depth on his team that is needed to play the style that he’s going with. Ok, so you didn’t like Brewster’s record and after 45 games, he was 15-30 when you pulled the plug. How about this guy after 45 games: 12-33 and since then 47-24. Rutgers would have missed out on a very good coach if they had pulled the trigger as quickly on Schiano, as the Gophers did on Brewster. This isn’t Michigan and you’re not trying to fill up the Big House so you need to be patient or you’re going to become what Northwestern was years ago and that was really ugly.

  13. falstaff1962 says: Oct 18, 2010 4:29 PM

    I would have to disagree with you edgy1957.
    Schedule softer? Good heavens, they lost to South Dakota and Northern Illinois. The only thing softer than that is to schedule The Little Sister’s of the Poor. Soft schedule= low level bowl because you don’t know how to play with the big boys when the time comes.
    Firing Brewster wasn’t just about the record. The guy was supposed to be a top recruiter and yet he failed to land one top in-state prospect in 4 seasons. And I’ll bet without looking that Schiano had the team/school moving in the right direction after those first 45 games. The Gopher program regressed under Brewster (and I didn’t think that was actually possible).
    Finally- I wish we were what Northwestern was years ago. I’m afraid we have a ways to get up to that level here in Minnesota.

  14. edgy1957 says: Oct 18, 2010 6:54 PM

    falstaff1962 says: October 18, 2010 4:29 PM ET
    I would have to disagree with you edgy1957.
    You’ve completely missed the point, which is that having USC on your schedule is a MINUS unless you have delusions of grandeur. With 4 out of conference games, you’ve got a chance to go 3-1 but with only 3, you HAVE to go 3-0 so you need to forget about USC — SOFTER schedule. There is NO PLACE on their out of conference schedule of anything other than soft targets and you missed where I talked about them losing to South Dakota. Let’s not forget that a NINE AND FOUR Michigan team got embarrassed a couple of years ago against Appalachian State so Minnesota losing to an FCS team isn’t as big a shock as you might believe.
    As for playing with the big boys, you need to set your sites LOWER so you can raise them. Like it or not, you’re just one step above the 1970s Northwestern Wildcats and you’re not going to attract a lot of top talent if you’re staying home every year. Kansas State built itself into a power in the Big 12 by going after soft targets and then putting themselves into bowls and they started attracting the better talent because even a low level bowl is televised and that may be the only time that their parents can see them.
    I don’t see how you didn’t think it was possible since the program hasn’t won anything since 1967. They got a small measure of respect back with Mason but I mean, really, just where do you think that this team couldn’t possibly get any worse? Frankly, when a small program like this changes horses, you’ve got to expect a little backslide. Heck, he did manage to get them into two bowls during his time and it’s NOT like anyone expected them to be anything less than cellar dwellers (being a toss up between them and Indiana for the basement for most predictions), especially when you consider that they lost nearly all their starters on a defense that wasn’t great in the first place and the offense has to make up for that AND the loss of their best receiver and while they’ve averaged more than 20 points per game, they’ve given up more than 30 and last week, they just made so many physical and mental mistakes in a game that they could have won.
    I’m not talking the Rose Bowl Northwestern; I’m talking the longest losing streak in D-1 Northwestern.
    As I said before, they need to do more with the in-state talent and cultivate a better relationship and I don’t know what you have in mind but Minnesota is NOT going to ever get to the top of ANY recruiting list by going in state. They have to recruit well at home AND out of state if you want to see them at the top of any list and FYI, he actually had a couple of decent classes, especially for Minnesota. The problem is that when a school pulls the plug so soon or a coach goes into the season on the hot seat, you can bet that his last class isn’t going to be worth a damn.
    You’d lose that bet. He showed no more progress and was 3-24 in the BIG EAST. Hell, Brewster did better than that in his 3 years a a few games at Minnesota.

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