News has been filtering out this afternoon that Tracy Claeys has been fired as Golden Gophers head coach following a very turbulent 9-4 season that included a Holiday Bowl win over Washington State and multiple off-the-field issues. In his year and change in charge, the team went 13-8 with 0 trinket game wins and an additional bowl win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl. Let’s get this out of the way right now: I will forever be appreciative of the work that was done to clean up the college football Chernobyl that was left behind by Tim Brewster by Tracy Claeys both as a head coach and a member of Jerry Kill’s staff. It saddens me a bit that they’re probably all going to be gone, and most of it can be traced back to Norwood Teague’s idiocy. But at the end of the day the job requires more than wins when you’ve got the B1Gbucks rolling in, and the black eyes the program received under his watch weighed heavily on the decision to move in another direction.
Nobody outside of Athletic Director Mark Coyle knows what direction the program will go next, but it would be absolutely idiotic to terminate a coach without someone else lined up. Like P.J. Fleck. Who hasn’t signed his contract extension at Western Michigan. And wants to coach in the B1G. And interviewed with Coyle last offseason at Syracuse. But we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.