The Golden Gophers held an orientation session as a precursor preseason camp Sunday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium and the Gibson-Nagurski Complex. As with any meeting of this sort, lots of talking heads were in front of the Gophers Sunday.
Chief among those speakers was new University of Minnesota President Dr. Eric Kaler, who explained to the Gophers how important they are to the school.
"You are critically important to the image we put forth to the community," Kaler told them. "We're invested in your success. I'm here to tell you that academically, there's nothing more important to me than you being able to make progress toward a degree and toward being a successful human being."
Kaler also had good things to say about Coach Kill.
"You are blessed because of the addition of Coach Kill and his staff at the University of Minnesota," Kaler said. "Most of you are returning from a season last year that was not all that we would want to have in Gopher Football. I'm convinced that Coach Kill and his team are going to be able to move this program forward in every way that matters. I'm going to be your biggest fan."
Kaler also encouraged the Gophers to take full advantage of the college experience and everything the University of Minnesota has to offer.
"I'm proud of you," Kaler said. "I want you to do very, very well. But remember, as they say in the (NCAA) commercial, most of you are going to go pro in something else. So take the time while you're at the University of Minnesota to engage in your classwork, engage with the faculty members, engage with your advisors, listen to your coaches and make this as quality an experience as you can possibly make it.
"This is a wonderful university," Kaler continued. "You're very fortunate to be here. I'm very fortunate to be here."
Kaler also announced that he will be accompanying the team to Los Angeles for the season-opener at USC and promised he would be at TCF Bank Stadium for as many games as he possibly could.
In addition to President Kaler's talk, the team received updates
from members of the football staff on everything from paperwork to how
to comport themselves during training table. The Gophers took part in an
extensive presentation on compliance and how to maintain their
eligibility, etc. They also heard from the athletic medicine staff, the
strength and conditioning staff, the equipment staff and the athletic
communications staff, among many others.
-By Andy Seeley, Associate Director of Athletic Communications