Kirk Ciarrocca set to return as Gophers offensive coordinator

After leaving the program in 2019, Ciarrocca is now expected to replace Mike Sanford Jr. as offensive coordinator.

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Jack Rodgers

Head coach P.J. Fleck celebrates on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 at Huntington Bank Stadium.

by Tony Liebert, Sports Reporter

After two seasons, Minnesota announced its plans to move on from Mike Sanford Jr. as the team’s offensive coordinator on Monday. It did not take long to find his replacement, with reports announcing the return of Kirk Ciarrocca coming out Thursday afternoon.

Kirk Ciarrocca was Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck’s offensive coordinator for seven combined seasons between Western Michigan and Minnesota. Following the Gophers’ historic 2019 campaign which saw them finish 11-2, Ciarrocca opted to take the same position at Penn State.

Penn State would move on from Ciarrocca after only one disappointing season and he spent 2021 as an offensive analyst for West Virginia.

After averaging 34.1 points per game and 432 total yards of offense back in 2019 with the Gophers, his return to the program makes sense, as quarterback Tanner Morgan is now planning to return for a sixth season.

Morgan totaled a career-high 3,253 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in 2019, and he now hopes to find that same success again with Ciarrocca.

After finishing the 2021 season 8-4, there is no indication whether or not Ciarrocca will join the Gophers for their bowl game, which will be announced in the coming weeks.