New Year’s resolution: new coach for Minnesota

Glen Mason will be paid more than $2.2 million in compensation.

by Mark Remme

Minnesota football coach Glen Mason was fired Dec. 31 just two days after his team lost to Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl, 44-41, a game in which the Gophers blew a 31-point second half lead.

Mason was notified of the decision via phone from athletic director Joel Maturi.

Maturi described the decision, the day before the New Year, as being symbolic of a new era in Minnesota football.

“Many factors go into a decision like this,” Maturi said at a news conference on New Year’s Eve. “The fact is I felt we needed a new vision, new voice and new leadership to bring a football championship to the University of Minnesota.”

The new vision comes after a coaching tenure filled with highs and lows for the Gophers football program.

Though Mason compiled a plus-.500 record with Minnesota, including seven bowl appearances, he won just 32 of 80 Big Ten games.

“I am proud of the improvements we have made in the past 10 years,” Mason said. “Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed. However, I respect the decision of my superiors, Mr. Joel Maturi and President Robert Bruininks.”

Maturi said he would not disclose if any prospects were in mind to replace Mason.

He said all members of the coaching staff will receive contract nonrenewal notice.

Mason was given a five-year contract extension at the conclusion of last season, but will receive more than $2.2 million in compensation from the program plus previously vested deferred compensation and a bowl appearance incentive bonus.