As the Golden Gopher football team participates in spring practice this April, several new faces will be pacing the sidelines and running the Maroon and Gold players through drills. The University of Minnesota gridiron program welcomes five new assistant coaches to the staff. Moe Ankney, Greg Hudson, Tom Sims, David Turner and Richard Wilson come to Gold Country with varied backgrounds and strong credentials. Chris Dawson also joins the staff as strength and conditioning coach.
Now, the players of the 2001 edition of Minnesota football have the opportunity to be tutored by these new coaches at spring practice. Ankney comes to Minnesota from the University of Missouri and takes the reins as the Golden Gophers' defensive coordinator. A 30-year veteran of college football coaching, Ankney has been a part of several major program rebuildings, including Tulane, Arizona and Ball State. At Minnesota, he is charged with the task of continuing the strong Golden Gopher defense of previous seasons despite losing several key players to graduation or the pros.
Hudson joins the Maroon and Gold gridders as the linebackers coach/ recruiting coordinator after a four-year stint at Cincinnati. Hudson helped lead the Bearcats to national prominence, including two bowl games in three seasons. He will be looked on to lead a new set of starting Golden Gopher linebackers as Minnesota lost Sean Hoffman, Ben Mezera, Justin Hall a> and Curtese Poole to graduation.
Sims is a highly regarded coach who comes to Minnesota from Eastern Michigan University to handle the defensive line coaching duties for 2001. "Tom is an impressive defensive line coach who I feel can do an excellent job with our players," said Coach Mason. "He had an outstanding collegiate career, played seven years in the NFL and is a great addition to our staff."
David Turner is entering his first season at Minnesota, taking over the defensive end coaching duties for the Golden Gophers in 2001. Turner comes to Minnesota from the University of Virginia where he served as defensive tackles and linebackers coach during his four-year stint with the Cavaliers.
Richard Wilson joins the Golden Gopher staff as the wide receivers coach for 2001. He comes from Oklahoma State University, where he served as the wide receivers coach for the past six seasons. Wilson will work with a strong nucleus of Golden Gopher receivers in 2001, led by All-Big Ten selection Ron Johnson. "Richard is a veteran wide receivers coach who can step in right away and help us improve our ability to catch the ball," said Coach Mason.
As the Golden Gophers look forward to the 2001 season, these new faces on the sidelines will play crucial roles in leading Minnesota back to the top of the Big Ten. Gold Country's new assistant football coaches take to the field along with the players with hopes of a prosperous season ahead.