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Minnesota Football: Tracy Claeys to receive a contract extension

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University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle issued a statement in support of the Gophers’ head football coach

NCAA Football: Purdue at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle has issued a statement in support of head football coach Tracy Claeys, whose current three-year contract (with an inexpensive buyout) has been the topic of much discussion this season.

Here is the full statement from Coyle:

This comes on the heels of a report that Claeys has been assured he will be back next season, with a contract extension to be worked on in the coming weeks.

The length of the extension for Claeys will likely be 2 or 3 years, but it will also be interesting to see if the buyout — currently $250,000 per remaining year left on his contract — changes. The new contract will certainly help with recruiting, where the Gophers currently have 12 commitments for next year’s incoming class.

Claeys is coming off his first year as a head coach, closing out the regular season with a record of 8-4 and a fourth place finish in the Big Ten West. It was the program’s third eight-win season in the last four years, with the bowl game representing a chance for a ninth win. But Minnesota beat only a single team with a winning record all season — a 7-5 Colorado State squad. The Gophers’ eight wins came against teams with a combined record of 35-60.

Their four losses came against teams with a combined record of 37-11. All four teams are also currently ranked in the Top 25, including Top 10 teams and Big Ten division champs Wisconsin and Penn State. The Gophers held a lead at either halftime or entering the fourth quarter in all four of their losses.