The first time Tracy Claeys met his new boss, they were at a Dairy Queen.

Mark Coyle, the Gophers new athletic director, had spoken to the football coach by phone multiple times. But their first in-person greeting came at the DQ in Hutchinson, Minn., last week on the first leg of the Gopher Road Trip.

"That was all a strategy," Claeys said Wednesday.

Claeys referenced Illinois, where two months ago, new athletic director Josh Whitman fired football coach Bill Cubit on Whitman's first day on the job.

"The first time Bill Cubit met with his AD, it didn't go so well," Claeys said. "So I was like, well, I'm going to meet our [AD] out in public. And so far it's worked."

Claeys' comments drew laughs from a room filled with about 200 fans at Somerby Golf Club, outside Rochester, on the final leg of the annual Gophers caravan.