Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
With the Humanitarian Bowl over, I expect Gophers coach Jerry Kill will fill out his coaching staff quickly, though any announcement may wait until after tonight's Vikings game to avoid being overshadowed. Still, Northern Illinois running backs coach Rob Reeves, who served as the Huskies' offensive coordinator during Saturday's 40-17 victory over Fresno State, and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski said after the game that they are joining Kill with the Gophers.
"I've been with coach Kill. I played for him. I've been with him for a long time," Reeves told the Daily Chronicle of DeKalb, Ill. "To be able to follow with him in his footsteps is an honor."
Reeves likely will have new responsibilities in Minnesota, since Kill announced last week that Thomas Hammock will serve as running backs coach.
Meanwhile, NIU linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz, who served as head coach for the bowl game, has announced he is staying in DeKalb to work under new Huskies coach Dave Doeren, who was hired last week. Doeren is Wisconsin's defensive coordinator, and intends to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl, so Matukewicz will likely be very busy until Doeren arrives.
"The bottom line for me is, I've been with coach Kill for a long time and I have a great understanding of his plan to win," Matukewicz, who was hired by Kill at Southern Illinois in 2001, told the Chicago Tribune. "And I felt I needed to latch on with someone else and see his plan to win."
Matukewicz enjoyed his one-game stint as head coach, and is likely to get another chance somewhere.
Gopher Illustrated has reported that Bill Miller, who grew up about 20 miles away from Kill in Hutchinson, Kansas, will take Matukewicz's spot as linebackers coach. Miller has coached defenses at nearly a dozen different schools, including at Minnesota under John Gutekunst in the mid-1980s.
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