Matt Limegrover is the Assistant Head Coach for the University of Minnesota football program. He has also served as the team's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach since 2011.
With Limegrover overseeing the offense, the Gophers' scoring average has increased by 10 points since 2011. Minnesota averaged 28.4 points per game in 2014 after averaging 25.7 points in 2013, 21.3 points in 2012 and 18.4 points in 2011. Limegrover's charges scored 44 touchdowns on offense in 2014 after scoring 35 in 2013 and 31 in 2012.
In 2014, Minnesota received its first All-Big Ten First Team honors on offense since 2009. Maxx Williams and one of Limegrover's offensive line charges, Zac Epping, received all-conference recognition. Epping was the first Gophers lineman named to the first team since 2005. Standout running back David Cobb received second-team honors.
Williams and Cobb both heard their name called during the 2015 NFL Draft becoming the first offensive Gophers under Limegrover to be selected. Williams was taken in the second round by Baltimore, while Cobb went in the fifth round to Tennessee. In addition, receiver Isaac Fruechte signed as a free agent with Minnesota.
In 2014, the Gophers had the No. 28 rushing offense in the country (sixth in the Big Ten) with 2,801 rushing yards. That total is their best since rushing for 3,277 yards in 2005. Minnesota's 32 rushing touchdowns and 599 attempts were also the team's highest totals in those categories since 2005, when the Gophers rushed 610 times and scored 34 touchdowns on the ground.
Minnesota finished 2013 with the No. 37 rushing offense in the nation (fifth in the Big Ten), having run the ball 586 times for 2,538 yards. That was the first time the Gophers produced more than 2,000 rushing yards in a season since 2006.
In addition to helping restore Minnesota's rushing attack, the offensive line, under the watchful eye of Limegrover, has been disciplined the last two years. In 2013, it committed only 13 penalties. In 2014, Minnesota’s opponents accepted just 11 penalties against offensive linemen.
Limegrover has been on head coach Jerry Kill's staff since 1999. He began his coaching career at the University of Chicago, where he coached the tight ends in 1991, the offensive line in 1992, became offensive coordinator in 1993 and interim head coach in 1994. Limegrover then moved on to a graduate assistant position at Northwestern for two seasons. He was then the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Ferris State in 1997 and 1998.
Limegrover caught on with Kill as offensive line coach at Emporia State in 1999. He coached the offensive line and ran the offense when Kill took over the Southern Illinois program and maintained both of those responsibilities at NIU.
Limegrover was in charge of an offensive unit that ranked among the nation's best in 2010 at NIU. The Huskies finished the season No. 7 in the nation and No. 1 in the MAC in rushing offense (260.4 ypg). NIU also led the MAC in scoring offense (38.0 ppg, No. 12 in the nation) and total offense (450.0 ypg, No. 19 in the nation).
In addition to the team rankings, Limegrover's NIU offense produced the No. 1 rusher in the MAC for two consecutive seasons. Chad Spann averaged just less than 100 yards per game and ranked No. 19 in the nation in rushing as a senior in 2010. Spann was a two-time first-team All-MAC selection and was chosen as the league's most valuable player in 2010.
During his three seasons at Northern Illinois, Limegrover's offensive linemen earned All Mid-American Conference recognition seven times, including 2010 first-team selections Scott Wedige and Trevor Olson.
The Huskie line gave up only 15 sacks in 2009. NIU also led the MAC and ranked 19th nationally in rushing with 202.42 yards per game that year. Limegrover spent seven seasons with Kill at Southern Illinois. With the Salukis, he coordinated a prolific offense that ranked in the top 10 in scoring for six straight years (2002-07).
During his tenure, SIU averaged 207.8 yards per game on the ground, and totaled more than 3,000 rushing yards in four different seasons. Four of the top five rushing seasons in school history came under the guidance of Limegrover. His rushing offense gained more than 18,000 yards on the ground at SIU, and his passing attack produced better than a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Limegrover coached five FCS All-Americans at SIU, including two offensive linemen. Under Limegrover's direction, the Salukis' 2004 offense set school records for yards (502.7) and points-per-game (42.6) and touchdowns (67). In 2007, the Salukis produced 3,293 yards and scored 28 touchdowns through the air, also school records.
Both defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys and Limegrover deserve credit for Northern Illinois' turnover margin of +0.79 per game in 2010, which ranked No. 2 in the MAC and No. 17 in the nation. The Huskie offense turned the ball over just 14 times in 13 games this season to rank No. 5 in the nation.
Limegrover played football at the University of Chicago from 1987-90 and was Honoraable Mention All-UAA in 1990. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native graduated from Chicago in 1991 and also holds a master's degree from Northwestern, where he served as a graduate assistant coach and was a part of two Big Ten championship teams.
He and his wife Ann have two children - Emma and T.J.
2014-present: Minnesota - Assistant Head Coach
2011-present: Minnesota - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2008-10: Northern Illinois - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2001-07: Southern Illinois - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1999-2000: Emporia State - Offensive Line
1997-98: Ferris State - Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator
1995-96: Northwestern - Graduate Assistant
1994: University of Chicago - Interim Head Coach
1993: University of Chicago - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
1992: University of Chicago - Offensive Line
1991: University of Chicago - Tight Ends
University of Chicago (Offensive Line, 1987-90)
M.S., Northwestern, 2000
B.S., University of Chicago, 1994
Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 1987
November 26, 1968
Gophers Ground Game Gaining Yards
Minnesota running game, which has scored 11 touchdowns, powered by three backs and a healthy quarterback.
Sherels, Murray, Boddy-Calhoun Impact NFL Games
Sherels, Murray, Boddy-Calhoun impact NFL games with big plays. Sherels punt return sparks Minnesota to win, while Boddy-Calhoun returned an interception for a touchdown.
Game 4: Minnesota at Penn State
Minnesota opens Big Ten play at Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 1. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and can be heard on KFAN.