Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague denied Wednesday that he is a candidate for the same position at Virginia Tech. According to a report on Rivals.com, Teague is one of three finalists for that job, along with Jeff Bourne, the athletic director of James Madison, and Mike Chismar, senior associate athletic director for Arizona State.
“I never was a candidate for Virginia Tech. I truly love it here,” Teague said in a statement released by the university after the Gophers basketball team upset No. 9 Wisconsin 81-68 at Williams Arena. In an earlier text message to the Star Tribune, Teague wrote he “was contacted several months ago but declined involvement.”
Teague was hired as Gophers athletic director to succeed Joel Maturi on April 23, 2012. He is in the midst of a $190 million fundraising campaign to improve athletic facilities at the university.
Turner’s QB history
New Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner will take on a familiar task in trying to turn a struggling quarterback situation into a strength. And if he meets the challenge as he has with other teams, where he made winners out of some quarterbacks, it will be a big plus for the Vikings.
Turner’s first offensive coordinator job was with the Dallas Cowboys in 1991. The previous season the Cowboys had gone 7-9 and Troy Aikman, in his second season as starter, had posted a 66.6 quarterback rating over 15 games with 2,579 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. In ’91 Turner took over and the Cowboys went 11-5. Aikman’s QB rating jumped 20 points to 86.7 with 2,754 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Aikman would only improve under Turner, posting a 89.5 quarterback rating in 1992 and a career-best 99.0 rating in Turner’s final year in Dallas in 1993. That season Aikman threw for 3,100 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. The Cowboys won two Super Bowls behind Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith in Turner’s final two seasons there.
Turner took over as head coach of the Redskins in 1994 and started working with rookie Gus Frerotte, who would become the full-time starter in 1995. In three seasons as a starter, Frerotte posted a 74.7 quarterback rating, averaging 2,962 passing yards per season while throwing for 42 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Eventually Turner replaced Frerotte with Trent Green, who threw for 3,441 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for an 81.8 quarterback rating in 1998.
Green rejected a four-year offer from the Redskins, and Turner replaced him with 31-year-old Brad Johnson, who had one of his best seasons under Turner, posting a 90.0 QB rating with 4,005 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Johnson helped Turner to his lone postseason appearance with the Redskins.
The next season, after a slow start, Turner was fired as head coach.
He spent the 2001 season as offensive coordinator in San Diego, where he helped Doug Flutie throw for 3,464 passing yards, the most of his career. In 2002 and 2003, he was with Miami as offensive coordinator and Jay Fiedler was his quarterback. Fiedler threw for 4,162 yards, 25 touchdowns and 22 interceptions under Turner and the Dolphins went 19-13, though they failed to reach the playoffs.
Turner became the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and 2005 but was hampered by injuries to quarterback Rich Gannon. The Raiders started 2-1 with Gannon working under Turner in 2004 but finished 3-10 after Gannon was sidelined. Turner would coach one more season there before being fired.
Turner’s next major opportunity came in 2007, when he became head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Turner worked with quarterback Philip Rivers to create one of the best passing teams in the NFL. Over six seasons together, Rivers started every game under Turner and averaged 4,059 yards passing, 28 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions per season for a 95.2 QB rating.
Rivers threw for 4,710 yards in 2010, the 21st-highest total in NFL history, and for 4,624 yards in 2011, the 29th-highest total.
This season with Cleveland was another impressive performance by Turner. Though the team started three quarterbacks — Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer — he was able to produce the 11th-best passing attack in football. The Browns threw for 4,040 yards, 26 touchdowns and 20 interceptions though their running game was miserable with only 1,383 rushing yards.
For a comparison, last season the Vikings passed for only 3,427 yards even though they had 2,081 yards rushing.
Now we’ll find out if Turner is the miracle man in the passing game that many people think he is.
• The two Vikings coaches who I think have the best chance to remain on new coach Mike Zimmer’s staff are wide receivers coach George Stewart and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. They, like other assistant coaches under Leslie Frazier, are signed for the 2014 season.
• Various Internet sites are reporting that Gophers defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, at 6-6 and 318 pounds, is turning heads with a great performance in practice sessions at the Senior Bowl.
• Twins President Dave St. Peter was asked to name some of the players who will show up for TwinsFest this weekend. “Obviously all the names from our current club, whether it be a Joe Mauer or Glen Perkins or Josh Willingham, Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, will be on hand,” St. Peter said. “Along with that you’re going to see really all of our top prospects — Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Oswaldo Arcia, Alex Meyer, Trevor May — they will all be at TwinsFest. Many of them will be here earlier in the week participating, whether it be in the caravan or the Diamond Awards, which will take place Thursday night at Target Field.”
• One of the outstanding hammer throwers in Europe, Gian Lorenzo Ferretti of Italy, has enrolled at Minnesota and will be eligible to compete for a Big Ten title next fall. Ferretti’s personal best in the hammer throw is 67.39 meters, or 221 feet, 1 inch.
• Forbes Magazine ran a list of the valuations for all 30 NBA franchises and the Timberwolves came in 26th in the league with an estimated value of $430 million. The average team in the league is worth $634 million. The top-valued team in the league is the Knicks at $1.4 billion. The Wolves were one of four NBA teams to operate at a loss last season, coming in with an operating income of negative $2.7 million.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org