Gophers AD has high expectations for football as well

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 6:35 AM

Gophers AD Norwood Teague expects coach Jerry Kill’s teams to finish in top half of the conference and compete for Big Ten titles.


Head coach Jerry Kill worked to motivate his football players at a spring practice at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague established the expectations he has for the men’s basketball program last month when he fired Tubby Smith, even after one victory in the NCAA tournament.

What did that decision signify for the long-suffering Gophers football program?

“I think it shows we have high expectations, but when I look at football, I don’t know if anybody on this earth has higher expectations for himself or his program than [coach] Jerry Kill,” Teague said Tuesday. “So the basketball change was difficult, but I think something had to happen.”

Teague is approaching the anniversary of his own hiring date on April 23. He’s been around Kill’s team through one season, one national signing day for recruits, and 10 spring practices.

Asked to describe his vision for a successful football program, Teague said it’s a team that’s “in the upper half of the league and competing for championships.” The team would show improvement in recruiting and player development, he said, and generate “an incredible amount of hope each year for our success.”

The Gophers went 3-9 and 6-7 in Kill’s first two seasons. His track record suggests the Gophers could take another step this fall. After going 5-18 in Kill’s first two seasons at Southern Illinois, the Salukis went 10-2 in 2003. And after going 13-13 in his first two seasons at Northern Illinois, the Huskies went 10-3 in 2010.

“I’m real excited, but I think we’ve all got to be careful about putting a number on how many games we think we should win to see progress,” Teague said. “Building a football program is an art. And as long as I’m excited about what I see — his management of the program, his building of the program, doing all the right things behind the scenes, recruiting really well, developing our kids and making retention a big priority — then we’re growing.”

Kill’s recruiting classes at Minnesota have ranked toward the bottom of the Big Ten, but Teague said: “That does not cause me any pause. I follow recruiting quite a bit, and … football kids develop. They grow. A lot of football is growing into your body. And I am so confident and so impressed with Jerry’s group and how they evaluate. They trust their own judgment, and I think that’s tremendous.”

The contract Teague gave new basketball coach Richard Pitino allows him to spend up to $50,000 per year on a private jet for recruiting. Will Kill have access to a private plane now, too?

“Yeah, we’ll do that for Jerry moving forward,” Teague said. “It won’t necessarily be in his contract but, when appropriate, we’ll use those planes. They provide a lot of logistical benefits more than any type of luxury. To get our coaches from one point to another quickly, to see multiple recruits in one day and get them back for practice is invaluable.”

Kill and Pitino both make $1.2 million per year, ranking them the lowest in the Big Ten among schools that disclose salaries. In February, Teague made it clear he’d like to give Kill a bump in pay.

“It’s something we want to be smart about,” Teague said. “We want to be good stewards of our money, but at the same time, we want to have competitive salaries compared to our Big Ten brethren.”

The same goes for Kill’s assistants — the bulk of his staff has been together for more than a decade, creating rare continuity.

“Staffs are so important, and some of the salaries [for assistant coaches, nationally] are really going through the roof,” Teague said. “But we’ll work hard to compensate them and make them feel appreciated going forward.”

Teague said the athletics department needs to work out some logistical issues before unveiling its long-awaited facilities plan, which would include a new indoor football building. The overall project is expected to cost between $80 million and $125 million, paid through fundraising and the sale of bonds.

“We have 750 student athletes, and we have one indoor facility, and we live in a cold environment,” Teague said. “That’s not just a football issue, that’s a student-athlete issue across the board.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 7 Top 7th Inning
LA Angels 3
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 3 Top 4th Inning
San Francisco 3
Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 4th Inning
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Oakland 3
Seattle 1 Bottom 4th Inning
San Diego 6
Texas 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 6 Top 4th Inning
Arizona 6
Arizona 0 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 0
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 91 4th Qtr 4:35
Brooklyn 96
Minnesota 51 3rd Qtr 7:30
New Orleans 59
Philadelphia 43 2nd Qtr 1:42
Cleveland 52
Detroit 5:00 PM
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Memphis 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Washington 5 3rd Prd 2:05
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 1 1st Prd 7:08
Nashville 1
Boston 1 1st Prd 8:46
Carolina 0
Detroit 3 1st Prd 10:06
NY Islanders 3
Florida 0 1st Prd 11:52
Ottawa 0
Anaheim 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Chicago 6:30 PM
San Jose 6:30 PM
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 17 1st Half 8:17
Duke 23
Philadelphia 0 1st Half 25:00
Chicago 0
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 17 1st Half 7:08
Middle Tennessee 8
Siena 8 1st Half 9:19
Louisiana 20
St Marys-CA 13 1st Half 9:55
(5) Baylor 7:30 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question