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Continued: Jan. 1, 2006: Mason, U agree to 5-year contract

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 31, 2006 - 1:52 PM

The coaches now must do some damage control to salvage the recruiting season, which culminates with signing day Feb. 1. People close to the program said several recruits who have given verbal commitments called assistant coaches Friday night wondering if they had been fired.

"I've talked to all my [recruits], and they're cool with everything," defensive line coach Carey Bailey said.

In nine seasons Mason has guided the Gophers to a 58-50 record and six bowl game appearances, including four consecutive. However, the Gophers have not finished higher than fourth in the Big Ten under Mason and finished eighth and seventh, respectively, in the conference the past two seasons.

Mason maintained throughout the past year that he and his family love living in Minnesota and wanted to remain here. He also sought improvements in the overall program, including better pay for his assistants.

The new deal includes more than $100,000 additional compensation for Mason's staff. The Gophers ranked 10th in the Big Ten in assistant coaches' salaries this season.

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