The Gophers have finalized the hiring of Jay Sawvel as defensive coordinator, giving him a two-year contract that will pay him $550,000 this year, up from the $269,000 he made last year as the team’s defensive backs coach.
Coach Tracy Claeys was the team’s defensive coordinator before former coach Jerry Kill retired. Sawvel handled defensive coordinator duties for the season’s final six games.
Claeys made no secret that he planned to officially promote Sawvel into that role this offseason. Beyond his coaching skills, Sawvel also is one of the team’s best recruiters.
The Gophers ranked 45th nationally in scoring defense this year, allowing 25.2 points per game, despite a slew of injuries. Claeys remarked on how pleased he was with the defense in the Quick Lane Bowl, which the Gophers won over Central Michigan 21-14.
Jay Johnson, the Gophers new offensive coordinator, received the same contract terms as Sawvel, a two-year deal that will pay him $550,000 this year. Claeys has a three-year contract through 2018, and all of his assistants now have two-year deals that run through 2017.