New Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys wasted little time shaking up his staff, firing offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski on Sunday, one day after the regular season finale.
Gophers players were being notified of the moves in a 5:45 p.m., meeting, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The Gophers then issued a statement, saying a search for the two replacements would begin immediately. In the statement, Claeys said, "Matt and Jim are both terrific people and coaches, but I have decided to make a change that will better fit my offensive philosophy, which is to have one coordinator calling the plays. They have been great representatives for the university and always put our student-athletes first, and I thank them for their contributions to our program and wish them well in the future.”
The moves brought an abrupt end to the longtime continuity this coaching staff prided itself on under former coach Jerry Kill, who retired for health reasons on Oct. 28.
Limegrover first joined Kill and Claeys in 1999, when they were working at Emporia State, a Division-II school in Kansas. Zebrowski came aboard at Northern Illinois in 2010, and the whole group made the move to Minnesota together after that season.
When Kill retired, Claeys took over as interim coach, and hinted that day that offensive staff changes could be coming if he were hired to keep the job.
“I pretty much know on defense what I would like to do,” Claeys said. “[Offense] is the side of the ball that we would look at, and the philosophy of that, and find something that fits my personality and what I think can be successful again at the University of Minnesota.”
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