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Continued: Brewster makes positive first impression

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 18, 2007 - 10:31 AM

That, Brewster said, will lead to better recruiting. Brewster was recognized as a premier recruiter in his previous collegiate jobs at North Carolina and Texas, and he sounds convinced that it will continue at Minnesota. Brewster said he will close the borders while also attracting blue-chip prospects around the country.

"I think people are going to be very surprised at the caliber of athletes we recruit and get to come to school here," he said.

Brewster's on-field coaching plan is a little more of an unknown. He said he wants to evaluate his talent in spring practice before completely deciding what offensive and defensive systems he will implement. Speaking in general terms, he said he wants to run the ball on offense and play fast and physical on defense. He also told his players that he expects them to be tough and play with passion.

"I promised [the players] one thing, and that is I will never let them down," he said. "I'm going to have my football team prepared to play on Saturdays."

The only offer

Ultimately, Brewster's tenure will be judged by wins and losses, Maturi said. Maturi acknowledged that he had never heard of Brewster before this search but decided to hire him after a series of meetings with him and discussions with people who know Brewster.

There was a report in a Dallas newspaper Wednesday that Texas Christian coach Gary Patterson turned down the job and a $2 million contract offer over the weekend, but two Minnesota officials vehemently denied that claim.

"We only offered the job to one person and that is Tim Brewster," associate athletic director Tom Wistrcill said.

Kathryn F. Brown, university vice president and Bruininks' chief of staff, was the highest-ranking nonsports administrator to meet Brewster before his hiring. She accompanied Maturi to Denver to interview Brewster.

Bruininks, who is in Mexico with family members, has had phone conversations with Brewster but still has not met him in person.

"[Bruininks] has complete confidence in Joel's decision-making," Brown said.

Brewster said he felt a sense of destiny after having dinner with Maturi in the same hotel that the Denver Broncos stay in the night before home games. As they went upstairs to Maturi's third-floor room for more discussions Brewster said he felt antsy. Maturi told him his room number: 3073.

"I said, 'No, we're not going to 3073,' " Brewster said. "That's the room that I was in every Saturday night prior to every home game when I coached with the Denver Broncos. You guys figure that one out. There is some definite fate involved in this deal."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

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