Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle revealed his competitive side in an appearance at the Minnesota State Fair Tuesday.

Coyle, who has been on the job for three months and is entering his first season leading the department, told the fans gathered around the University of Minnesota building “We want to win, I’m a very competitive person. “

“I’ve had a chance to talk with all of our coaches and spend time with them,” Coyle said, “and I made it very clear we’re in the Big Ten. We want to compete at a high level. We want to compete for Big Ten championships and put ourselves in position to play for special postseason opportunities.

“Our Olympic sports are doing a phenomenal job. We’ll continue to support those programs and help them grow. But there is no question we want football, men’s basketball, men’s hockey, women’s basketball, those programs, to compete at a high level.”

After the interview, Coyle took time to meet and greet with every fan interested in meeting him. He even exchanged phone numbers with one supporter.

Coyle also discussed the athletic department's difficult past year and the accountability he expects moving forward.

“We’ve been through a lot in that department and I want to make sure we make wise decisions and we hold people accountable and we never take away the attention from our student-athletes,” Coyle said. “I want to make sure as a department, and as administrators, as coaches and staff that we do everything we can to support our kids. That’s first and foremost to make sure we represent this place the right way.

“We’re a public institution and with that comes great responsibility. I want to make sure we’re great stewards of the resources we have. And again, we never want to take for granted our loyal fan base and what support they give us means to our program.”

Check out the video for the rest of Coyle’s interview and what fair food is he was most excited to dig into. 

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