Gophers coach Tracy Claeys said Sunday that last week’s vote of confidence from athletic director Mark Coyle “means everything.”

Two days after the team’s 31-17 loss at Wisconsin, Coyle answered any uncertainty about Claeys returning next season with a statement that said, in part: “He is our head football coach. … He has my full support.”

Coyle was hired in May from Syracuse and was expected to use this season to evaluate Claeys.

“Whenever you have a new boss, you don’t know how they feel,” Claeys said. “Or some of them want to bring in their own person. So I trust him and respect him an awful lot.”

Multiple sources have told the Star Tribune that Claeys and his assistant coaches will get contract extension offers. But it’s unclear if that will come before the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl.

“You have to sit down and meet,” Claeys said. “I don’t have time, and we did recruiting all last week. I’ll be out all this week on the road recruiting and getting ready for the bowl game. Until signing day [Feb. 1], it’s hard to find some breathing room in there to worry about that.”


• The Gophers offered a scholarship Sunday to Jordan Ta’amu, a 6-3, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback from the New Mexico Military Institute. Mississippi also offered the junior college QB on Sunday.

The Gophers need to replace Mitch Leidner next season, and their top in-house candidates all will be sophomore Demry Croft and redshirt freshmen Seth Green and Mark Williams.

• Tight end Brandon Lingen will miss the bowl game because of his foot injury, Claeys said, but guard Jared Weyler is expected to return from his torn triceps injury.