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Minnesota Gophers: Athletic Director History #TBT

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Mark Coyle was introduced on Wednesday as the Gophers 22nd Athletic Director. How does he stack up against previous ADs?

Fred Luehring
Fred Luehring
U of M

I have no interest in profiling all 22 (men's and women's) Athletic Directors. Only five even have wikipedia pages. I'm gonna preview 5 briefly.

  • 1922-€”30 Fred Luehring

I've written about Fred before as he was the U of M's first Athletic Director. Some of Luehring's accomplishments include reinstating the baseball team, building Memorial Stadium and the Field House (later known as Williams Arena). Basically he was a boss builder.

  • 1930-€”32 Herbert O. (Fritz) Crisler

Fritz is next on the list. He's a classic big name hire who didn't stick around very long. Coming in as the AD and Football Coach, Fritz over promised, under delivered, and then left for greener pastures. Finally ending up at Michigan he's mostly known for his time there, so clearly not worth being remembered as a Gopher.

  • 1950-€”63 Ike J. Armstrong

I want to like Ike (get it). He stuck around the U for 13 years during relatively good times. Sadly time hasn't been kind to him and all I could find on Armstrong is that he's best known as the winningest coach in Utah Utes history.

  • 1971-€”88 Paul Giel (men's department)

Paul Geil was a great U of M athlete, playing baseball and football, he was so good as a tailback he finished second in the Heisman voting and won Big Ten MVP twice. As an Athletic Director he seems to have had mixed results, moving the Gophers to the Metrodome being his main legacy.

  • 1992-€”95 McKinley Boston (men's department)

    If you've read anything about the most recent AD search, there has probably been a quote from Boston. A football player at Minnesota. In 1995 he made the a somewhat strange move of leaving the AD position but staying at the U of M as the Vice President for Student Development and Athletics (whatever the hell that position means). He ultimately left in 1999 in the midst of the Clem Haskins business.
    Geez that gets depressing fast. I'm sure there is more out there that I missed, but I just couldn't write about ADs anymore. The more current guys like Maturi and Teague people know about so it didn't make sense to profile them. Here's hoping Coyle does better than most of these guys.