Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Gophers football coach Jerry Kill is the lowest-paid coach in the Big Ten, but athletics director Norwood Teague sounds open to changing that soon.
“I’ve talked to Jerry about it, and we want to work hard in that area,” Teague said in a wide-ranging press conference Thursday. “It’s going to be an issue going forward because he’s the lowest-paid by several hundred thousand dollars.”
Kill makes about $1.2 million per year. Purdue’s Danny Hope was making $970,000 before he was fired, and his replacement, Darrell Hazell, now makes $2 million in guaranteed money each year.
“We’ve gotta get [Kill] up,” Teague said. “Because when you’re in the bottom of the league -- and you’re the bottom, by far, -- that’s an issue. So we’ve gotta work hard to do that, and Jerry feels good. He knows I’ll help him in those areas because it’s important.
“And one thing for him is paying his staff. But we’ll work in those areas too because it’s a free market. People leave and get paid more and what not.”
Teague said the continuity of Kill’s staff is one of its great strengths. The AD said he’d likely address the assistant coaches’ contracts next year.
“There were games this past year we won because of great coaching, and they’re on top of it,” Teague said. “I think their recruiting class was solid as a rock. They are so confident in what they do on the recruiting side, how they evaluate. They don’t fall victim to the stars -- the five-star and the four-star [players]. Granted, I’m sure they'd love a couple five-stars, they’re human, but where they are now, they’re getting kids they think can play."
For more on what Teague said, especially related to Tubby Smith's program, check out Amelia Rayno's blog. We'll wrap it up with some other highlights of the press conference for tonight's first editions.
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