Dick Garmaker, George Adzick, Joel Maturi

Minnesota’s AD to retire later this year after 10 years with Gophers

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After a decade of service, Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi (pictured, right) has decided to retire, according to an email he sent to athletes, coaches and supporters.

Maturi, who signed an extension in 2008, won’t renew his contract when it ends in June.

“It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that … I will announce my retirement as the director of athletics at the University of Minnesota effective June 30th,” Maturi said. “There is sadness because I have enjoyed every day of this 10-year journey. There is excitement because President Kaler has asked me to remain next year as a special assistant to the president.”

A press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on Thursday also confirmed the news, which had been hitting the rumor mill earlier this morning. Maturi will now take an assistant role under new school president Eric Kaler. 

Joel’s legacy will be a lasting and shining one,” said Kaler. “Joel has consistently said he has more to offer, and I think that’s true. … He is a persuasive advocate for the institution.”

Be that as it may, there’s no doubt Maturi will be judged on hiring football coaches Glen Mason and Tim Brewster; the success of Jerry Kill remains to be seen.

A search will begin right away for Maturi’s successor. A new AD is expected to begin on July 1, one day after Maturi’s retirement.

“Obviously I will look for someone with experience in D-I athletics and someone with good business acumen,” Kaler said. “I also want someone who will engage well with the rest of the community — booster, alumni [and others.]”

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah