Postgame quotes from the Gophers' 26-10 loss to Michigan State
Tracy Claeys has been the defensive coordinator for the University of Minnesota football program since head coach Jerry Kill's arrival in December of 2010.
Claeys started his coaching career at Santa Fe Trail High School in 1994. He joined up with Kill in 1995 at Saginaw Valley State, where he coached the defensive line. Claeys became Kill's defensive coordinator at Emporia State in 1999. He remained in that capacity when Kill took over at Southern Illinois in 2001 and Northern Illinois in 2008.
Claeys led a Northern Illinois defensive unit that was ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 19.08 points per game in the 2010 season. The Huskies were also No. 32 in the nation in pass efficiency defense, No. 27 in total defense and No. 27 in rushing defense in Claeys' final season at NIU.
Claeys' defense topped the MAC and ranked 30th in the country in total defense in 2009. The Huskies were also among the top 30 FBS teams in the country in scoring defense last season and held opponents below 125 yards per game on the ground. In 2008, his first season at NIU, Claeys and the defensive staff engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in the country, as the Huskies led the MAC in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. The Huskies finished in the top 20 nationally in three categories - fifth in pass defense, 14th in scoring defense and 17th in total defense. Rivals.com named Claeys as the MAC's Defensive Coordinator of the Year for 2008.
Claeys' resumé also includes coaching several standout defensive players, most recently NIU's Larry English, the first-round draft choice of the NFL's San Diego Chargers in 2009. Claeys also coached Seattle Seahawks' 1999 first-round draft choice Lamar King at Saginaw Valley State. Other NFL players he tutored include 10-year NFL veteran DE Paul Spicer at Saginaw Valley State, and current New York Jets' linebacker Bart Scott at Southern Illinois.
Claeys graduated from Kansas State University in 1994. He is a native of Clay Center, Kan.
THE CLAEYS FILE Coaching Experience 2011-present: Minnesota - Defensive Coordinator; 2008-10: Northern Illinois - Defensive Coordinator 2001-07: Southern Illinois - Defensive Coordinator 1999-2000: Emporia State - Defensive Coordinator 1995-98: Saginaw Valley State - Defensive Line 1994: Santa Fe Trail HS - Co-Defensive Coordinator