Tracy Claeys, Minnesota agree to three-year deal

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are no longer in search of a new head coach.

On Wednesday, the university announced that Tracy Claeys would have the interim label removed from his title after agreeing to a three-year deal to become the new Gophers head coach.

“I want to thank President Eric Kaler, Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz, the Board of Regents and the University for believing in me and providing me with this opportunity,” said Claeys. “The circumstances of the past few weeks have been unpredictable. This certainly is not the way anyone wants to become a head coach. Coach Kill is one of my best friends and I am thankful that he took a chance on me 21 years ago.

“I am looking forward to continuing what we have built at Minnesota, but will do so in my own way. One thing that won’t change will be our relentless pursuit to field a team that will make the state of Minnesota proud. We have tremendous fans and they deserve a highly competitive football team. Our student-athletes will play smart, tough and accountable football and will be held to the highest standards on and off the field.”

It was just two weeks ago that Jerry Kill stepped down and Claeys took over.

Minnesota has lost both of those games, but the university felt confident enough in Claeys to make him Kill’s permanent replacement. The losses were nothing to be ashamed of for the program as they came to top programs, No. 14 Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State.

“I’ve gotten to know and respect Coach Claeys this past year and watched him work with our student-athletes each and every day,” interim athletic director Beth Goetz said in a statement. “I admire his dedication to their development on the field and in the classroom. Given the improvement of this program, both academically and athletically, and Coach Claeys’ integral leadership role, we have great confidence that he is the right coach to lead this program and our student-athletes.”

Clayes, who spent more than two decades on Kill’s staff, was previously the team’s associate head coach and coordinator.

Now, he gets his time to shine.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports