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Gopher Football announces coaching staff changes

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Head coach P.J. Fleck is adding a couple new assistant coaches and others are shifting responsibilities

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Wisconsin at Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Head coach P.J. Fleck is promoting Joe Rossi from quality control assistant to defensive line coach. Rossi worked with defensive coordinator Robb Smith at Maine from 2007-08 and took over as defensive coordinator for the Black Bears when Smith departed.

Rossi also coached at Rutgers from 2012-15, serving as defensive coordinator for two seasons. Previously he had been the special teams coordinator for the Scarlet Knights.

With the addition of Rossi, previous defensive line coach Bryce Paup will shift to more of a pass rush specialist coach. Special teams coordinator Rob Wenger is also adding outside linebackers to his coaching responsibilities.

Fleck is also adding Clay Patterson to the coaching staff in a to-be-determined on-field coaching role. Patterson has spent the last two seasons as head coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Sports Illustrated wrote a brief write-up when Patterson was first hired as head coach, referring to him as “one of college football’s brightest young offensive minds.”

The Gophers have not yet announced a replacement for former defensive backs coach Mo Linguist, who left to take the same position under Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. Expect that hire to be made in the coming weeks.