Tuesday, the Gophers’ interim coach made a strong case and an impassioned plea for a current NFL assistant to take over the reigns of the listing football program.
Jeff Horton, the Gophers’ co-offensive coordinator and temporary replacement for Brewster, is good friends with Scott Linehan, currently the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator who is also familiar with the area as he was the Minnesota Vikings coordinator from 2002-2004. While Horton says he hasn’t spoken to Linehan about the job, it didn’t stop him from campaigning on his behalf.
“Scott Linehan would be an awesome candidate,” said Horton. “He would bring his record here with the Vikings, and their offense speaks for itself. He’s coached in college before. He knows the college game, and he’s been on the highest level in the pros. …
“I’d think he would bring a dynamic personality and style of offense that could win in the Big Ten.”
That could very well be the case, but the fan favorite as Brewster’s replacement appears to be Marc Trestman. Currently the head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, Trestman is a former Gopher player and was under consideration the last time the job came open.
Not only is Trestman (some of) the people’s choice, but his ties to the area would seem to make him a near-perfect candidate in the eyes of the athletic department’s boss.
“We can call them ‘Minnesota-like,’ but it has to be someone who understands Minnesota,” athletic director Joel Maturi said. “They don’t have to be from Minnesota, but they need to understand Minnesota.”
Actually, what they need to understand is how to build a solid Div. 1-A football program and win football games, regardless of whether they’re from or “get” Minnesota. Hell, candidates could even come from such far-flung places as, oh, I don’t know, Lubbock or Lawrence.
Regardless, Maturi needs to not limit his search grid, or else he’ll likely find himself back in the same situation three years from now.