Mike Sherels said Saturday morning that new Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck has informed him that he won't be part of his coaching staff.

Sherels, the linebackers coach, was kept on by athletic director Mark Coyle after Tracy Claeys' firing to bridge the gap until a new coach was hired. Sherels is currently at Mayo Clinic where he had a surgery Tuesday to re-connect his stomach to the remaining part of his transverse colon.

I wrote about Sherels' life-threatening condition in September. This latest surgery hopefully will allow Sherels to be able to eat and drink again. He is expected to remain at Mayo for a few more weeks as he recovers.

Sherels remains hopeful that he will find a spot on Fleck's staff eventually. The American Football Coaches Association recommended last week to add a 10th full-time assistant coach to staffs. The current limit is nine.

The NCAA could vote on that measure this spring. If it passes, there is a chance Fleck could hire Sherels for that 10th position. Sherels has been given no indication if that's a possibility. There are indications that Coyle also could find a position for Sherels in the athletic department if coaching doesn't work out.

Sherels said he has had positive conversations with Fleck since he was hired.

"He’s been nothing but great to me," Sherels said. "I don’t have a bad word to say about him. I really don’t."

Sherels said he met with Fleck last week to discuss his thoughts on the Gophers program and share his insight as a former two-time team captain and assistant coach.

"I had a lot of thoughts about the team, the direction that it needed to go and things that needed to change," Sherels said. "And he sat down and listened to every one of them. Those to me were a lot more important than trying to get my job saved. This has been a hole for 13,14 years since I’ve been here. 'This is what’s wrong with Minnesota football right now.' I went through a long list. He sat down and listened and took notes."

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