Mike Sherels is coaching the Gophers linebackers this spring, replacing Bill Miller, who left to become the linebackers coach at Florida State. And that hasn’t been the only change to Jerry Kill’s staff.
Kill confirmed Thursday that two of his longtime assistants, Brian Anderson and Pat Poore, have flipped roles, with Anderson taking over the wide receivers and Poore taking over the running backs.
Anderson played wide receiver at Western Illinois and coached wide receivers under Kill at Southern Illinois from 2001 to 2007. Poore was a head coach at Iowa Wesleyan and joined Kill as a quarterbacks coach at Southern Illinois in 2001.
Both have switched to different position groups under Kill, allowing the staff to work around coaches with other preferences.
Current Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck was the wide receivers coach under Kill at Northern Illinois, for example, so Anderson coached the tight ends, and Poore coached the quarterbacks.
“We’re getting our people back to where they’re used to being,” Kill said. “B.A.’s played wide receiver. That’s what he’s done, and Pat’s coached everywhere. He’s been a head coach like me.”
Kill noted one specific project involving both Anderson and Poore, as redshirt freshman running back Berkley Edwards got some work Thursday at outside receiver.
The Gophers are looking for ways to get Edwards on the field along with last year’s 1,200-yard rusher, David Cobb.
“So we all swallow our pride to get better,” Kill said. “And we’re just trying to get people back to where we’re comfortable.”
Sherels draws praise
Junior linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has said his relationship with Kill and Miller was a big reason he flipped his commitment from Kansas State and picked the Gophers coming out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College last year.
Miller “has done nothing but take care of me since I got here,” said Campbell, the team’s projected starter at weak-side linebacker this fall. “Even before I got here, he looked out for me, so it was tough at first [when Miller left for Florida State], but it’s all about family.”
Sherels worked extensively with the linebackers last year as a defensive graduate assistant. He is a former walk-on who wound up starting 30 games at linebacker for the Gophers and became a two-time captain, in 2006 and 2007.
The Gophers have yet to announce Sherels’ promotion to linebackers coach, but that is an expected formality.
“I feel like he stepped in perfectly because last year, he did a great job helping me out on the sideline when I was struggling a little bit,” Campbell said. “So we’re not going to fall off a lot.”
End comes for two
Dexter Foreman, a former backup quarterback who moved to wide receiver last fall, had hip surgery and probably won’t return to the Gophers.
He’ll keep his scholarship, but the team can get a medical waiver to award an additional scholarship to another player.
Another scholarship came available for the Gophers when wide receiver Cameron Wilson graduated and took a job.