It might have just been a matter of time because of the tense situation, but Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys has been fired from the program’s top coaching position, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.
We have learned that Tracy Claeys has been fired as head coach of the Gophers
— Mark Rosen (@WCCORosen) January 3, 2017
— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) January 3, 2017
Claeys admitted he had landed in hot water with Minnesota President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle following a tweet in support of his players’ now-infamous boycott before the Holiday Bowl following the suspension of 10 players.
Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world! 〽️?
— GoldenGopherHFC (@GoldenGopherHFC) December 16, 2016
The suspensions reportedly stemmed from a Title IX investigation, launched after a student alleged she was sexually assaulted in September. The nature of the tweet had already prompted several Minnesota residents to sign a petition calling for Claeys’ firing.
The players ended their boycott after just two days, reportedly after they saw the details of the investigation into the sexual-assault claim. The Gophers beat Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, 17-12, to cap a 9-4 season. Claeys is 11-8 since taking over following Jerry Kill’s retirement last season. Before that, he had worked under Kill for 21 years.
Claeys' tweet supporting boycott was tone deaf and arguably insubordinate. Also a convenient reason for AD to fire someone he didn't hire.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 3, 2017