Mason becomes a media member

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 18, 2007 - 11:07 PM

The former Gophers football coach will do color commentary on the new Big Ten Network, vowing to throw himself into his new job.

Glen Mason is officially a member of the media. No, that is not a misprint.

As crazy as that statement might have sounded during Mason's 10-year tenure as Gophers football coach, it became a reality Wednesday when the Big Ten Network announced that Mason will serve as color analyst this season.

Mason, who was fired Dec. 31 after the Gophers' collapse in the Insight Bowl, had an uneasy relationship with the media at times during his tenure. Asked if he ever thought he would live to see the day when he joined the fourth estate, Mason simply laughed.

"I guess I'm one of you now," he said.

Mason discussed his new broadcast role, his future plans and his time as the Gophers' coach during an interview Wednesday.

Q What intrigued you about the broadcast job?

A For the last 35 years, especially the last 21 since I was head coach, I was indirectly part of the media. I was on the other side of the table. College football has been a major part of my life. I think this gives me an opportunity to venture into a new career and still be around something I truly love.

Q Did you get any assurance that you won't have to work any Minnesota games?

A I didn't get any assurance and I didn't ask for any. It wouldn't bother me one bit to do them.

Q Wouldn't that be awkward?

A No, not from my standpoint. I truly hope that (Gophers coach) Tim Brewster and the Gophers are tremendously successful. I guess the thing I would have to be careful with is not to be a homer for the Gophers.

Q You've talked about getting back into coaching. How will that affect this new job?

A I'm a coach. I've been coaching my whole life. Everybody still calls me coach, even though I'm not coaching a damn thing right now. But at the same time, I believe the best job you have is the one you've got and you better work at it and make decisions like you're going to be doing it for the next 25 years. I am not approaching this opportunity as a one-year deal. I'm going to go out and do the best I possibly can.

Q You turned 57 this spring and you have financial security. How does that affect how you go about getting back into coaching?

A Again, I'm not taking this announcing opportunity with the idea that every morning I'm going to run to the curb to find out what coach lost his job or what job is open. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to throw myself into this. I've got to find out if I like it or if I'm any good at it.

Q Did getting fired stoke your fire to get back into coaching?

A It's a fact of life in coaching. Every year major college football and basketball coaches get fired. It's a personal thing, but I really didn't take it personal. I was disappointed with the decision but I respect the decision of my superiors. Believe me, I have no ax to grind. I'm not bitter. I've seen guys before. They wallow in that bitterness when they've been fired. That doesn't accomplish anything.

Q What would you say to people who say you didn't do enough to sell the program?

A I don't know. Who's saying it? I never got that feedback internally. Everybody has an opinion. Our attendance was good and we went to a lot of bowl games. I don't think I need to defend anything. I'm not going to apologize to anybody for the job we did here.

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