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Minnesota Golden Gophers football

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First season  1882
Location  Minneapolis, Minnesota
All-time record  667–500–42 (.569)
Head coach  P. J. Fleck
Mascot  Goldy Gopher
Division  Division I (NCAA)
Athletic director  Mark Coyle
NCAA division  Division I FBS
Bowl record  7–12 (.368)
Arena/Stadium  TCF Bank Stadium
Conference  Big Ten Conference

Marching band  University of Minnesota Marching Band
Rivals  Michigan Wolverines football, Wisconsin Badgers football, Nebraska Cornhuskers football, Penn State Nittany Lions football

Minnesota golden gophers football 2016 17 season hype brick by brick

The Minnesota Golden Gophers football program represents the University of Minnesota in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. Founded in 1882, the program is one of the oldest in college football. Minnesota has been a member of the Big Ten Conference since its inception in 1896 as the Western Conference. The Golden Gophers claim seven national championships: 1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, and 1960. Since 2009, the Gophers have played all their home games at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In January 2017, the Gophers fired head coach Tracy Claeys and hired former Western Michigan head coach PJ Fleck as the new head coach.



The Minnesota Golden Gophers college football team played its first game on September 29, 1882, a 4–0 victory over Hamline University. Eight years later in 1890, the Gophers played host to Wisconsin in a 63–0 victory. With the exception of 1906, the Gophers and Badgers have played each other every year since then. The 124 games played against each other is the most played rivalry in Division I-A college football.

Early years

The sport's beginnings were humble. Students began gathering to play the game recreationally and its popularity grew.

Once the sport had taken off, it was only a matter of time before a team was formed to play against other schools. Early teams were very loosely organized, not requiring all of the players to be students and not having designated coaches. The players on the team started to recruit faculty members who had played football at schools in the East to help organize the team. Some years, they played without a coach. Other years, they played with multiple coaches. In total, from 1882 through 1899, the team played 16 seasons of football and had 15 different coaches. As the years went by, the leadership structure started to become more formal. In 1900, the hiring of Dr. Henry L. Williams, the school’s first full-time salaried coach, signaled the end of the early, chaotic days.

Glory years

The Gophers enjoyed quite a bit of success in the early 20th century, posting winning records from 1900 to 1919. Head coach Henry L. Williams developed the "Minnesota shift", a predecessor to later quick line shifts, which was adopted widely. Also Henry L. Williams led Minnesota to one of the NCAA's longest unbeaten streaks of 35 games, from 1903 to 1905 with 34 wins and 1 tie. In 1932, Bernie Bierman became the Gopher head coach and led the Gophers to their first dynasty. From 1934 to 1936 the Gophers went on a run of winning three straight National Championships, the last Division I team to accomplish this feat. During the run, Minnesota went unbeaten in 28 straight games, 21 of which were consecutive victories. The school record for consecutive victories is 24, which spanned 3 seasons from 1903 to 1905. The Gophers also won two more national championships in 1940 and 1941. Those two seasons comprised most of an 18-game winning streak that stretched from 1939 to 1942.

After some mediocre seasons throughout the remainder of the 1940s and 1950s, the Gophers rose back to prominence in 1960 with their seventh national championship (because polling ended after the regular season, the Gophers were crowned AP and UPI national champions despite losing the Rose Bowl to Washington). That national championship followed a 1-8 record in 1958 and 2-7 record in 1959. Minnesota played in bowl games the two following years as well, in 1961 and 1962. The Gophers earned their first berth in the Rose Bowl by winning the 1960 Big Ten title. The following year, Minnesota returned to Pasadena despite a second-place finish in the conference. The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Big Ten champions in 1961, declined an invitation to the Rose Bowl because of tension between academics and athletics at the school. Minnesota beat UCLA 21-3 to claim its first and only Rose Bowl victory. Minnesota's last Big Ten title was in 1967, tying the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers atop the standings.

Recent history

After their 8–2 record in 1967, the Gophers would not win 8 games in a season again until they went 8–4 in 1999. Their 10–3 record in 2003 gave the Gophers their first 10 win season since 1905.

The 2006 team had the dubious distinction of blowing a 38–7 third-quarter lead in the Insight Bowl against Texas Tech, losing 44-41 in overtime. The collapse, which was the biggest in the history of Division I-A postseason football, directly led to the firing of head coach Glen Mason. On January 17, 2007, Tim Brewster was officially announced as the next head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

In 1981, the Gophers played their last game in Memorial Stadium and played their home games in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome until 2008. The Gophers moved back to campus with a 20-13 win against Air Force on September 12, 2009, when their new home, TCF Bank Stadium, opened.

In 2010, after a 1-6 record to start the season, the Gophers football head coach Tim Brewster was fired. Jeff Horton served as the interim head coach going 2-3. On December 6, 2010, Jerry Kill, former Northern Illinois University head coach, was hired to take over the University of Minnesota football program.

In 2014, The Gophers reached an 8-4 record while going 5-3 in Big Ten games, falling just short of making the Big Ten Championship Game by losing to The Wisconsin Badgers in the season finale. After being revitalized in the Big Ten contention, The Gophers were awarded an appearance in the Citrus Bowl on January 1 against Missouri.

All-time record vs. Big Ten opponents

This is the Gophers football record against current Big Ten Conference opponents.

The University of Chicago was a Big Ten Conference member from 1896 to 1946.

National championships

The NCAA itself does not award a championship for Division I-A/FBS football. A number of different organizations and publications designate a national champion. The following are the national championships that Minnesota recognizes.

Conference championships

Minnesota was a member of the short-lived Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the Northwest in 1892 and 1893 and won the conference title both seasons.

Minnesota joined the Big Ten (originally known as the Western Conference) as charter members in 1896.

TCF Bank Stadium

TCF Bank Stadium is the football stadium for the Minnesota Golden Gophers college football team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 52,525-seat on-campus "horseshoe" style stadium is designed to support future expansion to seat up to 80,000 people, and cost $303.3 million to build. The stadium was the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while U.S. Bank Stadium was being built.

Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex

The complex is a state-of-the-art facility housing the team administrative offices, team locker room, team meeting rooms, equipment room, training room, and players’ lounges.

Former venues

  • Northrop Field (1899–1923)
  • Memorial Stadium (1924–1981)
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (1982–2008)
  • Bowl games

    Minnesota has a 7–12 (.368) record in 19 bowl games.

    Rivalries / trophy games

  • Trophy: Paul Bunyan's Axe, Rival: Wisconsin Badgers, a Big Ten West Division Border Rivalry played since 1890 a total of 124 games played.
  • Trophy: Floyd of Rosedale, Rival: Iowa Hawkeyes, a Big Ten West Division Border Rivalry played since 1894 a total of 108 games played.
  • Trophy:Little Brown Jug, Rival: Michigan Wolverines, an Inter-Division Big Ten played since 1902 a total of 101 games played.
  • Trophy: Governor's Victory Bell, Rival: Penn State Nittany Lions, an Inter-Division Big Ten played since 1993 a total of 13 games played.
  • Trophy: *$5-Bits-O-Broken-Chair Trophy , Rival: Nebraska Cornhuskers, a Big Ten West Division Rivalry played since 1900 a total of 55 games played.
  • CFL

  • Cedric McKinley - Defensive Tackle, Edmonton Eskimos
  • Simoni Lawrence - Linebacker, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Other notable coaches and players

  • Marion Barber Jr. - Retired NFL Running Back
  • Phil Bengtson - Retired NFL Head Coach
  • Rene Capo - Olympic judoka
  • Gino Cappelletti - All-time AFL scoring leader
  • Gil Dobie - Won two national championships as head coach of the Cornell Big Red football team
  • Tony Dungy - Retired NFL Head Coach
  • Verne Gagne - Professional wrestler; founder AWA
  • Tony Levine - Head coach of the Houston Cougars football team
  • Len Levy - American football player and professional wrestler
  • Chip Lohmiller - Retired NFL Kicker
  • Karl Mecklenburg - Retired NFL Linebacker
  • Cory Sauter - Retired NFL Quarterback
  • Darrell Thompson - Retired NFL Running Back, current Gopher football radio announcer
  • Rick Upchurch - Retired NFL Wide Receiver
  • DeWayne Walker - Current defensive backs coach Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Murray Warmath - Last head coach to lead Minnesota to the Rose Bowl and National Championship
  • Bud Wilkinson - Won three national championships as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team
  • Norries Wilson - Head Coach, Columbia Lions football team, first African American head football coach in the Ivy League
  • Wayne Robinson Retired NFL linebacker, CFL and NFL coach
  • Big Ten West-division opponents

    Minnesota plays the other six Big Ten West opponents once per season.

    Non-conference opponents

    Announced schedules as of January 16, 2017


    Minnesota Golden Gophers football Wikipedia