Joel Maturi Retires, Gophers Begin Search For New Athletic Director

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, go to The Daily Gopher.

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Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson Open To Gophers Athletic Director Position

It's been about a week since Joel Maturi announced that he'd be retiring as the athletics director for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, effective June 30, but there hasn't been much said about potential replacements and, really, not much out there in the public about what Minnesota is looking for. Well, the Pioneer Press has floated one potential candidate in Craig Thompson.

Thompson is the Mountain West Conference Commissioner and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1978. At least four members of his immediate family have degrees from Minnesota, and he's apparently interested in this job. He actually said that he was "open" to discussions about it, but is a lot to consider.

"But there would be a million questions to learn more about the position," he said. "Is there a budget deficit? Is fundraising the issue? Is the focus on rebuilding the football program? Are there academic concerns? Is there a support system to graduate student-athletes? There would be a lot more to know about the needs and wants of the athletic department before you can even think about taking the next step."

He does say some encouraging things about Minnesota football, and it's clear that's something very important to him. He's got memories of Minnesota being a good team, and says there's no reason teams like Iowa and Wisconsin to have surpassed Gophers football, suggesting that the town is great and the school is great, then they can make the athletics great

Thompson has been the commissioner of the American South Conference and the Sun Belt Conference and seems to have very solid credentials. The most important aspect of this potential candidate is probably his passion for the school, however.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher.

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Joel Maturi Makes Retirement Official, Steps Down As Minnesota Athletic Director

After earlier reports that the Minnesota Golden Gophers would be without their athletics director in the near future, we now have some confirmation. At a Thursday press conference, Joel Maturi announced he is retiring as the University of Minnesota's athletics director, according to the Star Tribune.

Maturi will be officially retired on June 30, but the search for his replacement will be underway as soon as possible. President Eric Kaler has said that the next hire is of huge importance to the school, as the hire will impact the perception of the entire program. The new athletic director will handle contract negotiations as soon as he's brought in. According to the report, Kaler said that they hope to have someone in place on July 1.

"Obviously I will look for someone with experience in D-I athletics and someone with good business acumen," Kaler said. "I also want someone who will engage well with the rest of the community -- booster, alumni [and others.]"

Maturi will stay on with the school for next season as a special assistant to Kaler, though it's unclear what that entails. All that was said was that Maturi has more to offer the organization.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher.

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Minnesota AD Joel Maturi Set To Retire, According To Report

Minnesota AD Joel Maturi is holding a Thursday press conference, reportedly to announce his retirement.

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