Cosgrove and Lee named co-defensive coordinators for Gophers

Things around University of Minnesota football have been anything but static during Tim BrewsterâÄôs two years as head coach. And days after the Gophers 42-21 loss at the hands of Kansas in the Insight Bowl, the program was shaken up once again. Just hours apart on Tuesday, Jan. 6, Mike Dunbar and Ted Roof resigned from their respective positions as offensive and defensive coordinator. Roof left for the same position at Auburn, while Dunbar left, according to the press release, âÄúto pursue other professional interests.âÄù DunbarâÄôs departure comes as less of a surprise than RoofâÄôs. Though widely regarded as a guru of the spread offense, DunbarâÄôs squad struggled down the stretch in 2008. During its five-game losing streak to close the season, Minnesota averaged just 15.2 points per game and especially struggled to move the ball on the ground. The GophersâÄô appearance in the Insight Bowl foreshadowed a possible changing of the guard at offensive coordinator; sophomore quarterback Adam Weber spent the majority of snaps under center instead of in the shotgun âÄî a staple of the spread offense. Less than a week later, Dunbar was gone. âÄúCoach Dunbar has contributed a great deal to this program over the past two years, and I would like to thank him for his efforts,âÄù Brewster said in a release. âÄúI have a great deal of respect for Mike, and I wish him nothing but the best.âÄù Brewster has yet to name a replacement. RoofâÄôs move south, on the other hand, was rather unexpected. Hired in March 2008 and charged with the task of reviving a Minnesota defense that ranked dead-last in the country in 2007, he simplified schemes and produced an opportunistic, takeaway-happy defense in just one season. Under RoofâÄôs direction, the defense ranked second in the Big Ten in turnover margin and allowed 11.9 fewer points per game than the 2007 Gophers. But while Minnesota fans may have wanted to keep him around, the opportunity for more money and a job in the south, where he is from, was enough to lure Roof to Auburn. âÄúGood coaches are always going to be in demand, and I wish Ted the best of luck in the future,âÄù Brewster said in the release. Brewster moved quickly to find a replacement for Roof, hiring Kevin Cosgrove and promoting defensive backs coach Ronnie Lee three days later to lead the defense in tandem as co-defensive coordinators. âÄúCoach Cosgrove brings a wealth of experience in the Big Ten as both a coach and recruiter,âÄù Brewster said in a statement. âÄúPlus, he possesses a long track record of developing outstanding defenses. But, perhaps more importantly, Kevin is a great person and an outstanding fit on our staff.âÄù Most recently, Cosgrove was the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, but prior to that, he had a successful tenure with Wisconsin, serving as linebackers coach from 1990 to 1994 and defensive coordinator from 1995 to 2003. He was on staff with the Badgers for three Big Ten Championships and three Rose Bowl titles. âÄúIâÄôm thrilled to be back in the Big Ten,âÄù Cosgrove said. âÄúIâÄôm definitely excited about the opportunity to work with Tim Brewster and an outstanding [athletics director] in Joel Maturi at the University of Minnesota. IâÄôm very familiar with Minnesota. I always felt that this program had great potential, and IâÄôm glad to have the opportunity to work here.âÄù Lee, who worked with the GophersâÄô secondary for the past two seasons, was apparently a big enough part of MinnesotaâÄôs defensive improvement in 2008 to earn the promotion to co-defensive coordinator. âÄúRonnie Lee has done a tremendous job since joining our staff here at Minnesota,âÄù Brewster said. âÄúIâÄôm very pleased to reward him with this promotion. Ronnie has proven himself to be an excellent coach and recruiter. I look forward to him having an expanded role on our defensive staff.âÄù