Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle met with the media Tuesday night, hours after it was announced football coach Tracy Claeys would be fired.
“I made a difficult decision,” Coyle said. “This is a decision I did not take lightly. Tracy was disappointed, but took the news professionally.”
Reaction to Claeys’ firing was swift, including QB Mitch Leidner ripping the school’s administration for its decision.
“No one is happy with administration right now. I don’t know who would want to be part of this program at this time,” Leidner told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy earlier Tuesday. “This is terrible decision by the administration. This is a pretty sad day for Gopher football.”
Coyle addressed the concerns of players and students Tuesday, as well.
“I get that fans are frustrated. I get that students are frustrated. I hear them,” Coyle said. “At the end of the day, I was hired to be the AD.
“The students have a right to be angry. This is a learning experience for all of us.”
The next step for the Gophers is finding a new head coach, and several names have been floated as possible candidates. Coyle said he’s heard from some candidates, as well, and he intends to move quickly.
“We’ve been through a lot, the expectations are high. We will go out and find a great coach. This is a chance to move forward.”