Jim Souhan: Hiring right coach for two jobs is test for Gophers' AD

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2007 - 4:39 PM

Joel Maturi must make the right call on replacements for Glen Mason and Dan Monson.

Can you celebrate the right decision if it's made at the wrong time by the wrong person, and perhaps for the wrong reason?

That's the riddle facing Gophers fans today, but it's not the most important question.

This is: Do you trust Joel Maturi -- the last of Minnesota's Mediocre Ms, now that Dan Monson and Glen Mason are gone -- to make the two most important hires that can face a major-college athletic director?

Sunday, Maturi fired football coach Mason, one year after signing him to a lucrative five-year contract. So Maturi was only 365 days off.

Maturi has demonstrated little gravitas or impact in his job.

He makes you question whether he's the right person to make such momentous decisions.

And Maturi admitted on Sunday that, had Texas Tech not tied the Insight Bowl with a 52-yard field goal, leading to the culmination of an historic collapse, he might not have fired Mason.

Ah, but when the house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East, you don't debate wind direction, you just celebrate like drunken munchkins.

Yes, Sunday was a banner day for Minnesota football. Brad Childress, a much worse coach than Mason, rallied his troops to a 41-21 loss to a Rams team that had nothing to play for, exemplifying the disdain with which many of his players regard him.

During that embarrassing end to Childress' three-month run of coaching malpractice, the U announced that it would hold a news conference concerning the future of the football program.

The good news: Joel Maturi had fired Glen Mason.

The bad news: Joel Maturi, aided by a search committee, will hire his replacement.

Oh, it's no fun picking on Gentleman Joel. He's a nice man, earnest and well-meaning. But is he ready for this?

Maturi is about to make two hires that will affect the university's profitability, popularity and stadium development. At least today he looks more capable of running this show than he did two days ago.

You can't praise Maturi for firing a guy one year after giving him a rich five-year contract, but you have to admit that the move takes guts, and the biggest question regarding Maturi around the U -- and this was coming from coaches and employees, as well as fans -- was whether he had the constitution to take on such challenges.

Sunday, the word from the U is that Maturi was forced to fire Dan Monson by university president Robert Bruininks, but that firing Mason was Maturi's call.

If so, then Maturi, despite his missteps and milquetoast manner, may be growing into his job.

Sunday, Maturi spoke of trying to "attain the championship we all aspire to," and that's the way the big shooters at the U need to think from now on.

Mason too often delighted in small victories and large excuses. He was good enough to nudge the Gophers to the brink of success without being good enough to capitalize on such position.

Whether Maturi hires his new alpha coaches from midmajors or high schools or the back rooms of major programs, he needs to choose people who believe they can succeed here, and who can make those around them believe, as well.

Mason was happy to stay one stride ahead of Jim Wacker's legacy.

We all know Minnesota basketball should thrive. This program has the venue, heritage and local talent base to occasionally contend for a Big Ten title.

U football does not enjoy all of those advantages, but we shouldn't have to hear that from the new football coach.

If Maturi does his job, the new coach will inspire as much optimism as a New Year's Eve firing of Minnesota's second-most smug and underachieving football coach.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles 6 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Detroit 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Kansas City 1
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 35 3rd Qtr 1:30
Rice 21
Troy 0 4th Qtr 9:00
(13) Georgia 59
Georgia Tech 10 4th Qtr 13:14
Virginia Tech 16
Eastern Mich 7 4th Qtr 14:55
(11) Michigan State 59
Iowa 17 4th Qtr 8:42
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 10 3rd Qtr 7:51
(19) Wisconsin 55
Maryland 31 3rd Qtr 13:19
Syracuse 13
Tulane 7 3rd Qtr 12:27
Duke 19
Hawaii 3 1st Qtr 2:46
Colorado 7
Marshall 10 1st Qtr 4:00
Akron 0
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close