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Continued: Claeys keeps Gophers football fine-tuned

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 2, 2013 - 7:36 AM

“I was asked to stay around and go through the interview process, but I’ve got a job with Coach [Kill] I’m very happy with,” Claeys said. “I can’t waste 10 days somewhere else. We’ve got this next job, and we’ve got to get rolling.”

Claeys has turned Minnesota’s defense into a strength. The Gophers allowed 33 points per game in 2010 before Kill’s staff arrived, and 31.7 points per game in Claeys’ first season. But that number dipped to 24.7 last year and sits at 23.1 this year.

Senior safety Brock Vereen said Claeys stayed calm on the sideline last week when the Gophers fell behind Nebraska 10-0.

“I think that’s important,” Vereen said. “To be down 10 to a very good team, and to not panic and to not worry about anything, and to know we can just go out and be confident — I definitely credit that to him.”

Inevitably, Claeys’ success could lead to other opportunities.

“Anytime somebody would approach you, I think you’d look at it and see if that’s a better thing than what you’re doing,” Claeys said. “It’d have to be the right situation at the right place because it’d be awfully hard to go into Coach Kill’s office and tell him I’m leaving after everything the guy’s done for me.”

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