Beth Goetz wasted little time establishing her presence around the Gophers football program one day after being named Minnesota’s interim athletic director.
Goetz watched Saturday morning’s practice and spoke to everyone from boosters, to other athletics employees to coach Jerry Kill and his wife, Rebecca.
It marked a sharp contrast to Norwood Teague, who was an infrequent visitor to football practice before resigning from the AD post this week.
“The priority, today and every day, is about our student athletes, our coaches and our teams,” Goetz said. “So I was disappointed we weren’t here [Friday].”
On Friday, as the football team held its first practice, Goetz was getting ready for the news conference announcing Teague’s resignation amid allegations that he sexually harassed two female University employees.
Goetz didn’t take questions Friday but agreed to answer a few football-related questions Saturday.
On the athletics facilities project, she said: “I’ve talked with President [Eric] Kaler, and we have complete confidence in him, and he’s assured us, hey, we are doing this project. … We’re really confident that there’s not going to be any bumps in the road.”
On her relationship with Kill, she said: “Coach is so giving of his time that from the minute I got here [in March 2013], I’ve gotten to spend some time with him. We have some mutual friends, so we had some initial connections. He’s a guy that you know he’s doing things the right way.
“I’m excited to work with him a little bit more closely for the coming couple weeks, months — whatever it might be.”
Goetz spent time with Dan O’Brien, the senior associate athletic director who oversees the football program, as well as Lou Nanne, who is leading the facilities fundraising efforts.
Asked what it meant to have Goetz at practice, Kill said: “Beth will do a good job, and I mean, I’ve got all the confidence in the world, and Dan has been here. He’s been an athletic director [at Hamline and Concordia (St. Paul)]. We’re going to move on. We’re not going to miss a beat.”