Darren Wolfson is the king of Q&As over at 1500 ESPN. Following his interview with recruit Rashad Vaughn last week, Wolfson follows up by interviewing first-year University of Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague.
We break down the best portions of the interview (full article from 1500 ESPN is here):
No. 8 Gopher Basketball
The Gopher men have impressed Teague this year.
“They’re tough. We have guys who want the ball. Their body language one the floor shows that they don’t get rattled,” said Teague using playing Illinois on the road as an example of when the Gophers stepped up in a hostile atmosphere.
Basketball Practice Facility
While raising money is always a challenge, the current challenge is finding a piece of land to build a practice facility for the basketball team.
But as Teague admits: “Winning cures a lot of problems.”
Tubby Smith’s Future
Some thought Smith would be coaching LSU this season, but nonetheless, Smith’s future is uncertain. Teague hopes the head coach will want to finish his career in Minnesota — and he can see it happening.
Again winning changes everything.
Jerry Kill’s Health
“Jerry and I have had some incredible discussions since the season has ended about his health, workload and strategic planning for the future. He and I have a great relationship. We’re really on the same page. When you have that, it bodes well for the future. Part of that, especially with the strategic planning that we’ll do in the next week or 10 days, is to tell Jerry that (things) are off his plate”
What will be off his plate?
“Little things. Jerry likes to manage a lot of things. He has such a capable staff. I have to do a better job of getting non-coaching things away from him. That doesn’t mean speaking to media or to a rotary group in St. Cloud. It’s more little things that creep up in average day when he needs to be hashing it out with the offensive staff or on the phone with a recruit. He shouldn’t worry about stuff that the staff can take off his plate.”
Is there a raise in store for Kill?
Teague is a bit “weary” of spending money following the dropped games against North Carolina, but he acknowledges that Kill is underpaid in the conference and that the administration needs to become more aggressive with keeping the coaching staff around longer.
We’re still paying Mason, Monson and Brewster?!
Yes…yes we are. Former Gopher football head coaches Glen Mason, Dan Monson and Tim Brewster are being paid $500,000 a year collectively until 2017 (approx. $2.5 million total).
Big Ten division realignment
Teague wants a east-wide regional division instead of its current Leagues and Legends format — absolutely no one is going to disagree with you here.