Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Hartman: Shanahan got his break as U assistant

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 12, 2012 - 6:49 AM

This is a column about a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach who got his big break as a 27-year-old Gophers assistant under Joe Salem in 1979, because of one game in a season where the team went only 4-6-1 but scored 264 points with its run-and-shoot offense, at the time the highest total in school history since 1926.

His name is Mike Shanahan, a very close personal friend who will coach the Washington Redskins against the Vikings in a game that, if the visitors can win, could establish Leslie Frazier's team as a contender for the NFC North title.

Shanahan had about six major college assistant coaching offers after his one season with the Gophers. In 1980, he wound up as an offensive coordinator at Florida, and he made the leap to the NFL as a Denver Broncos assistant in 1984. Since then he's gone on to be the head coach with three pro teams, winning the Super Bowl in back-to-back years with Denver.

But before all that, he was a college assistant here. His second game with the Gophers came Sept. 15, 1979, at Memorial Stadium against 15th-ranked Ohio State, which was coached by Earle Bruce. His staff included future Gophers coach Glen Mason as well as Pete Carroll, now coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

The year before, the Buckeyes went 11-1 and won the Big Ten title. That day, they were three-touchdown favorites. But they struggled mightily to slow down the Gophers.

The Gophers took the kickoff, marched 80 yards in seven plays for a touchdown with Garry White scoring on a 29-yard run. There were only 2 minutes, 40 seconds gone when the Gophers took the lead.

Later in the first quarter, White scored again on a 16-yard pass from Mark Carlson, ending a nine-play drive for 62 yards.

At that point, according to Mason, Carroll -- who was calling the Ohio State defensive signals from the press box while Mason was doing the same for the offense -- was so disgusted with the play of the defense that he threw the book with all of his defensive setups into the crowd.

Paul Rogind's 44-yard field goal just before halftime put the Gophers up 17-7, but they ended up losing 21-17 when Art Schlichter scrambled for a 32-yard, fourth-quarter score.

But what impressed coaches around the country about Salem, Shanahan and the Gophers offense was that the Maroon and Gold ran up 505 yards to the 295 of the Buckeyes, who went to the Rose Bowl undefeated and ranked No. 1 but lost to USC. White ran for 221 yards on 34 carries that day.

So Shanahan, who had been an assistant to Salem at Northern Arizona in 1977 and then an assistant at Eastern Illinois before rejoining Salem in '79, became one of the most sought-after assistant coaches in the country.

And this great career of his really got going after Salem gave a 27-year-old a big opportunity at Minnesota.

Good News at U

Visiting campus Thursday, I had an opportunity at TCF Bank Stadium to see Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray, who has missed almost three weeks, get ready to play against Northwestern on Saturday. Gray was listed on the depth chart as a backup to Max Shortell.

And stopping at Williams Arena where the Gophers men's basketball team was, I watched Trevor Mbakwe, who has been sidelined since last November after knee surgery, getting ready to scrimmage Friday, when the Gophers will hold their annual All-Star Friday night to start the season.

Getting back to football, like coach Jerry Kill said after the loss to Iowa on Sept. 29, "We need to do well and get the bad taste out of our mouth."

However, Kill has been a nervous coach when it comes to addressing the problems Northwestern will pose this week.

"I think they always create a problem," Kill said. "I mean, they use their personnel -- not just their two quarterbacks, but you have to look at their team and what they do.

"They can be a personnel nightmare with the no-huddle system, like everybody else is using, and then they use two quarterbacks [Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian]. Those two quarterbacks are athletic enough to do other things besides play quarterback, so you have to worry about where they're at at all times. They can throw a double pass, they can do a lot of things. Practice, your preparation in practice is long, and you have to make sure you have good matchups on people. That's why it's really important that [defensive back] Brock Vereen is healthy, and if [defensive back] Martez [Shabazz] is able to play, that would certainly help us."

A victory Saturday, and even all of the Gophers haters will have to pay attention to the team's success.

Jottings

• There are a number of former Twins appearing in the MLB postseason. Kyle Lohse pitched his second terrific game for St. Louis on Thursday, giving up only one run on two hits and one walk with five strikeouts over seven innings in a no-decision. Lohse, who won Friday night's wild-card game at Atlanta, has a 1.29 ERA in two playoff starts and, at age 34, figures to sign a large free-agent contract after going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA this season. It's disappointing to think that the Twins' only compensation for trading Lohse to Cincinnati in 2006 was Zach Ward, a righthander who never pitched above Class AA and now is out of baseball at age 28.

• Former Twins lefthander Jose Mijares bounced back from a horrid first playoff outing with San Francisco -- when he gave up three earned runs and didn't record an out in the Game 2 loss to Cincinnati -- to record a big strikeout of former NL MVP Joey Votto in Game 4 on Wednesday, as the Giants came back to win the series.

• Jim Thome is having a very rough series for the Baltimore Orioles against the New York Yankees. He is 2-for-15 through four games. ... J.J. Hardy also is having a rough series at 3-for-18, but his third hit was a big one, a 13th-inning RBI double that gave Baltimore a 2-1 victory in Game 4. ... Lew Ford pinch ran for Thome on Thursday but got picked off first.

• In the Oakland-Detroit series, Pat Neshek pitched two-thirds of an inning in Game 1, but the appearance was especially notable because it came only days after the death of Neshek's newborn son, Gehrig, who was not even 1 day old. The other former Twins reliever on the staff is A's closer Grant Balfour, who took the loss in Game 2 in Detroit but earned the save in Game 3. ... Delmon Young drove in his second run of the series during Detroit's four-run seventh inning in Thursday's Game 5.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
LSU 78 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 45
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close