The Gophers are hiring Marcus West, Austin Peay's assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, to be an assistant coach, a source confirmed to the Star Tribune on Tuesday.
West's role is to be determined, but he could replace pass rush specialist coach Bryce Paup, who according to multiple published reports is leaving the Gophers staff to pursue a coaching opportunity in the NFL. Paup, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, spent the 2017 season as Minnesota defensive line coach.
Paup, 49, joined coach P.J. Fleck's inaugural staff last year after spending 2013-16 as Northern Iowa defensive line coach. He would be the third assistant to leave Fleck's staff this offseason. Maurice Linguist, who was promoted from defensive backs coach to assistant head coach in December, left to become Texas A&M cornerbacks coach. Ed Warinner, who was the Gophers offensive line coach/run game coordinator, left to become a senior analyst/offense at Michigan.
The Gophers added former Northeastern Oklahoma A&M head coach Clay Patterson as an offensive assistant and former Arizona assistant Jahmile Addae as defensive backs coach.
West, 34, a former standout defensive lineman at Memphis, has been co-defensive coordinator for the past two seasons at Austin Peay, a Football Championship Subdivision program. West oversaw a defense that helped the Governors finish 8-4 in 2017, including a 7-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Governors' 2017 season was remarkable, considering the program was 1-45 from 2013 to '16. In that span, Austin Peay gave up an average of 42.3 points per game. This past season, the Governors allowed 24.8 points per game (19.2 in conference play) and 310.1 yards per game (294.2 in the conference).
West spent one season with the Indianapolis Colts, one with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe and one with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. He was defensive line coach at Chattanooga from 2009 to '15 and at Wartburg (Iowa) in 2008.