Horton relieved of coaching duties

John Hageman

Jeff Horton was relieved of his duties as a coach for the Gophers football team Tuesday, a team spokesman confirmed.

The rest of the coaching staff has also been relieved with the exception of co-offensive coordinator Thomas Hammock. Hammock is the only remaining coach that has been seen working since the rest of the staff was relieved, but it’s unclear whether he will be retained next season, the spokesman said. Hammock played running back at Northern Illinois, new head coach Jerry Kill’s previous stop, and coached the backs in 2005-2006.

Kill announced the hiring of Tracy Claeys as the Gophers defensive coordinator and Matt Limegrover as the offensive coordinator last week. Both have been coaching with Kill for more than 12 years. Kill told the Daily Saturday he plans to have the rest of his staff decided early this week.

“We’re going to be very cautious,” Kill said. “We’re going to make the right decisions, what’s best for the University of Minnesota.”

Horton led the Gophers to two upset wins, including a trophy game victory over Iowa, to close out the season after Tim Brewster’s termination. Horton was hired as the Gophers co-offensive coordinator in January, returning to the school where he was a graduate assistant in 1984. 

Horton said after the Nov. 27 upset win over Iowa that he if the next coach offered him a job he would accept it, but understood the incoming coach may want to stick with his own staff. 

“When the moment comes, when we cant get through the door anymore, like I said that Amtrak train is right around the corner so I’m gonna get on it,” Horton said.