U’s Mason, Hudson being mentioned elsewhere

by Brett Angel

In hindsight, Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi saw it coming.

Immediately after the Gophers football team concluded its regular season Nov. 15, Maturi made it a priority sit down with coach Glen Mason to discuss a possible contract extension.

“I want to make a statement that I want Glen Mason to be our football coach,” Maturi said. “He knows that I want to extend his contract, and we will work something out that’s agreeable to both parties.”

With three years remaining on his current deal and Minnesota’s fourth bowl berth in five years looming, Mason is in no immediate danger of losing his current job. But recent coaching vacancies elsewhere in college football means Maturi might no longer be the only one interested in negotiating with Mason and his staff.

With Maturi busy courting Alamo Bowl officials and Mason committed to recruiting duties in recent weeks, the two have not yet proceeded in any contract talks.

In the meantime, Mason’s name has been rumored as a possible candidate for the head coaching job at Nebraska after the Huskers fired Frank Solich. Mason is not, however, believed to be among the front-runners.

A more intriguing development involves Mason’s defensive coordinator, Greg Hudson, whose name has surfaced as a possible candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Cincinnati.

Hudson grew up in Cincinnati and was a standout linebacker at Archbishop Moeller High School before playing for Notre Dame.

He was also a member of the Bearcats coaching staff for four years, serving in a number of roles under recently fired coach Rick Minter, including assistant coach in 2000 before coming to Minnesota.

“I guess you feel like you’re doing a good job at your current position if your name is mentioned for a position like that,” Hudson said. “But they haven’t even called me. I haven’t talked to anyone in Cincinnati besides my mom and dad.”

Cincinnati Associate Athletics Director Brian Teter said the school had received more than 75 applications for the coaching vacancy as of Thursday evening, and that a screening committee would narrow the list of candidates by sometime next week.

Hudson said Thursday he has had no correspondence with Cincinnati officials, and that his name would not be found among the 75 applicants.

“I coached there for four years,” Hudson said. “They know where to find me.”

Gophers resume practice

Minnesota will practice for the first time today since losing its final regular season game to Iowa three weeks ago.

The Gophers – who, like other Division I teams, are allotted a total of 15 postseason practices leading up to their bowl game – will also practice Saturday morning.

Because the BCS will not release its final rankings until late Sunday afternoon, Minnesota will practice today and Saturday without knowing either its bowl-game destination or its opponent.

Meanwhile, the Gophers remain hopeful they will end up in San Antonio in the Alamo Bowl against a Big 12 opponent.

“I am very confident,” Hudson said. “Our administration has worked their tails off to go somewhere that we deserve.

Sun Bowl lands Oregon

On Tuesday, Oregon accepted an offer to play in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve against either Minnesota or Michigan State.

Sun Bowl officials have said they will take whichever Big Ten school is not invited to the Alamo Bowl.

Assuming Ohio State earns an at-large selection to a BCS bowl game, Minnesota could potentially play the Ducks in El Paso, Texas.

Oregon – which defeated Minnesota 24-20 in the Sun Bowl following the 1999 season – was one of just two teams to beat Big Ten champion Michigan this season. The Ducks finished with an 8-4 record and tied for third in the Pac-10 Conference.