I spoke to Matt Limegrover tonight, after he'd been fired as Gophers offensive coordinator. No surprise, but he was all class. Here is a condensed version of the interview:
Q. What is this like emotionally for you after being with this staff for so long?
A. "To be honest, I’m not even really thinking about it for myself right now because I’m pretty confident, bordering on cocky, that I’ll be able to land on my feet. The whole thing that was going through my mind is that my wife and my kids just love it here. They love where we live, love the community and love the schools. And that’s what really was on my mind that I’m going to have to go home and tell my wife and kids that we’re not going to be here much longer.
"The other thing is, it’s corny and it sounds trite, but those guys [on the coaching staff] are like brothers, and the guys that I’ve worked with for 15, 16, 17 years. You can only imagine what we’ve gone through both good and bad and go through that and have those experiences. I’d never give them back for anything. And the things we did with Coach Kill, and all of us together. So it’s hard, you’re given that news and then you can hardly think straight."
Q. Your offenses under Kill got better every year until this year. Was it a one-year blip?
A. "You’re always looking at it. I never was one who felt like I knew more than anyone else in the room. I always was one to say, 'We’ve got deficiencies, and there are things that need to get better.' And you roll up your sleeves and you get to work and work on getting those things better.
"I will tell you this, I think it is getting harder and harder to do what we wanted to do. And I have no idea what direction Tracy will go from here. I think it gets harder and harder to be able to stick to that. I watch the other teams in our conference, those kind of teams that you think of, they’re going to pound and run the football. And they’re going to do those things that you feel like you need to do in the Big Ten and they’re fewer and fewer of those. So I don’t know."
Limegrover was both offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
A. "I will say this is a conversation I’ve had with Coach Kill. Obviously we didn’t do as well as we needed to, or I’d still have a job. But from a standpoint of being an offensive line coach and being a coordinator, that took a lot out of me. And I got to the point, I didn’t know if I was doing either one particularly well. And for better or worse, I had a guy who was 100 percent in my corner and wasn’t going to let me out that easy, in Jerry Kill. And he said, 'Hey, we’ll get through this. You know you’re good at what you do and we’ve just got to fight through whatever was happening at the time."