Tim Brewster to Kansas Jayhawks?: Not Gonna Happen
The first real snowstorm of this winter hit Minneapolis this Tuesday.
As the local media focused 99 percent of its efforts on relaying the message that it's more difficult to drive in snow, another storm got buried.
It seems there's quite a storm brewing over at the University of Minnesota.
Depending on who you want to believe, Tim Brewster may or may not have expressed interest in the vacant head coaching job in Lawrence, KS. To say there are conflicting reports on the situation would be an understatement.
The fun all started when an article appeared in St. Paul's Pioneer Press when Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi went "on the record" with Gophers beat writer Marcus Fuller. Maturi told Fuller that he had heard rumors that Brewster was interested in the Kansas job. Maturi didn't sound too disappointed about the rumors.
Brewster's been a headache for Maturi from day one. Maturi took a chance when he hired the former NFL position coach to take over for Glen Mason. Brewster had never been a head coach or coordinator in college or the pros, so the move was met with some scrutiny.
Brewster said all the right things when he was hired. He promised a Rose Bowl. He promised to return the program to prominence. He brought in recruiting classes that trumped any that Mason had in his tenure. And his team won one game his first year.
Things got a little better during year two. The Gophers started the season 7-1. It looked like a Rose Bowl might happen. Then Joel Monroe missed a chip-shot field goal and Eric Decker got hurt against Northwestern. 7-1 turned into 7-6 in a hurry.
Year three was a huge year for the program. A move to a new stadium on campus was supposed to spur the team on. Tougher competition, revolving doors at the coordinator positions, and poor quarterback play resulted in another average season—adequate at best.
Why would Kansas, a school that's played in the Orange Bowl recently, be interested in Brewster? I don't think they are. There's a lot of smoke here, but no fire.
I have no idea what the truth is. Everyone's got a theory. Some have suggested that these rumors were started by Brewster himself in an effort to gain a contract extension.
If true, that seems like a brazen move on Brewster's part. The way I see it, Brewster's situation at Minnesota is a coin flip right now. I'd put the odds at 50/50 that he could be fired or get an extension. Why on earth would someone with such a tenuous hold on his job do something that could be all the motivation his boss needs to hand him his walking papers?
After the storm died down a little, Brewster came out and stated that he was only interested in one job: the University of Minnesota. It's possible that he realized he needed to do some damage control after making a blunder; it's also possible he had nothing to do with the rumors and wanted to squash them.
I have no idea what's going on, and I have no idea who to believe. I do know this: Someone needs to fix this problem, quickly.
Maturi needs to make his mind up. I've been on record saying that Brewster deserves one more year to prove himself. With everything that's gone on, I don't think the Gophers can afford to wait.
Brewster's contract is now hurting recruiting. The Gophers have lost five commits this year already. Kids are going to change their minds, but you don't need to give them (or other schools) any ammo. An athlete commits to play for a coach, and they want that man to be their coach from the day they enroll until they leave the program. The uncertainty around Brewster is causing recruits to head elsewhere.
Maturi needs to make his mind up, and he needs to do it now. He took a risk hiring Brewster, and he needs to take another. Extend him or fire him. Do it now before this situation gets worse.
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