The power brokers at the University of Minnesota believe the Gopher football program is a diamond in the rough. Millions of dollars have been spent on new facilities and a brand spankin' new stadium. Now that Tim Brewster has been let go as head coach a new leader is being sought. Deep pocketed boosters want a big name with credentials and seem to be willing to spend whatever it takes to get their guy.
They went after Gopher alum Tony Dungy but he likes his TV gig. Who's in the Minnesota cross hairs? One name has caught our attention in the OSG HQ.
That would be former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer. According to an OSG source Fulmer has wanted to get back into the coaching arena and is looking for the right opportunity. Does Minnesota qualify?
“Minnesota has great potential, and with its new facilities it’s a place you could recruit to,’’ Fulmer told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “I believe it’s a place where you can compete.’’
Here's who is reportedly on the Gophers list:
Kevin Sumlin - University of Houston head coach: Sumlin was an assistant at Minnesota and has been very successful leading the Cougars. That would not be a bad hire.
Jeff Jagodzinski- Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) head coach: The Minneapolis/St. Paul media would love him, having dealt with Jags in the past he was great to get to know. Though successful at Boston College in ended badly clashing with B-C's athletic director. Still not a bad hire.
Jim Harbaugh - Stanford head coach: Can't see that happening. If Harbaugh goes back to the Big 10 its to his alma mater Michigan.
Chris Petersen - Boise State head coach: Good luck. Petersen has a great gig at Boise State. Minnesota might pay him better but is it worth it to Petersen.
Dan Mullen - Mississippi State head coach: Mullen can only take Mississippi State so far in the SEC. The Minnesota gig might be appealing because at least he might get the program to compete for championships in the Big 10. That will never happen in Starkville.
Ken Niumatalolo - Navy head coach: I'm sure Minnesota's athletic administration has seen how Paul Johnson's offense has been successful in the ACC since leaving Navy for Georgia Tech. Their would be a risk but Niumatalolo has kept the Navy program in smooth water since getting the head coaching gig.
Leslie Frazier - Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator: Reportedly interested in the gig. Frazier has been interviewed a few times for NFL head coaching jobs but hasn't landed the job. This might be that opportunity Frazier is looking for. Reportedly Tony Dungy has endorsed Frazier.
Marc Trestman - Montreal (CFL) head coach: Trestman has been very successful coaching football in Canada. Stay in the Great White North.
DeWayne Walker - New Mexico State head coach: No comment.
Al Golden - Temple head coach: We like Golden. Anyone that can make Temple football relevant has to considered for a Big 10 job. Golden might not bite though as he has been rumored as a possible successor to Joe Paterno at Penn State.
Minnesota photo courtesy: Marlin Levison/Minneapolis Star Tribune
Phil Fulmer photo courtesy: AP