The Timberwolves hired the best basketball coach on the market in Tom Thibodeau.

The Wild hired the best hockey coach on the market in Bruce Boudreau.

The Gophers hired a better candidate than a realist would have imagined in Mark Coyle.

I have praised all three hires, and, as usual, I've gotten some interesting responses. A few accused Coyle of being just another administrator who will get buried by the weight of failure at the University of Minnesota.

Know what? That's entirely possible.

But I still thought it was right to praise the Minnesota brass for conducting a professional search, turning up strong candidates and picking the best of them.

Praising the Coyle hire doesn't mean he's guaranteed to succeed. All it means is the Gophers seemed to conduct the search with professionalism and logic. That's about all they can do.

I was also impressed that they involved Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren in the search. Warren has done good work with the Vikings and had the guts to go against the organizational grain when it came to Adrian Peterson whipping his son. 

Peterson did not appreciate that. I did.

The more I found out about the names on the Gophers' search committees, the better I felt about the process. Coyle is at least a logical hire. At best, he's the person who can turn around the plight of the revenue sports at the U.

And if he can't succeed, maybe it's not the athletic director who should be blamed for the Gophers' woes.


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