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.
Source confirmed for me that #Gophers coach Tracy Claeys has been assured he will be back next season, with extension to be worked on soon.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) November 28, 2016
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.