The situation at Minnesota is… weird.
Tracy Claeys is 10-8 overall since taking over for Jerry Kill as head coach in the middle of last season, with a better-than-expected 8-4 mark this season. At the same time, AD Mark Coyle is new to the scene since being hired away from Syracuse, and athletics directors typically like to have their own guys in the most important spots.
With that in mind, Coyle offered his “support” to Claeys on Monday:
“Now that our regular season is complete, Tracy and I have begun to discuss this past season and the plan for our program moving forward. He is our head football coach. As is the case with every one of our head coaches, he has my full support. I will do whatever I can to help him and our students achieve at the highest levels.
“Our football program has now won eight games in the regular season three times in four seasons. We expect that our program will continue to grow and I am committed to putting us in a position to do so. This includes working with Coach Claeys to evaluate where we need to improve and what each of us can do to ensure we meet our expectations.”
Of course, support in college sports is measured in contract length and buyout figures, and as of yet, Clayes doesn’t have much of either. Claeys signed a 3-year, $4.5 million contract that calls for a $250,000 buyout per season remaining.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that an extension is coming, but Coyle didn’t mention one in his statement. Until an extension arrives, Coyle’s support is worth the paper it’s printed on.