Mason signed to rejuvenate Gopher football program

The University named former Kansas head coach Glen Mason its new football coach on Dec. 14, ending weeks of speculation that followed former coach Jim Wacker’s Nov. 12 resignation.
Mason received a six-year contract worth $500,000 plus incentives per season. He led the Jayhawks to a 10-2 record and an Aloha Bowl win over UCLA two seasons ago, but his team fell to 4-7 last season.
Mason, who molded perennially weak Kent State and Kansas programs into winners as a head coach, has spent the weeks since his hiring getting started on doing the same at Minnesota.
He’s toured the football facilities, coordinated his supporting staff and set about the difficult task of recruiting in the middle of the signing season. Although Mason departed Friday for Cleveland on a recruiting trip, he has placed a great emphasis on “closing Minnesota’s borders” to land the best in-state talent.
Mason and the University’s commitment to turning the football program around generated an early impacts among fans, as season ticket sales surged in the weeks after the hiring was announced.
“He has strong ideas about how to move forward,” said men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart. “I know he feels a sense of urgency.”
— Michael Rand