Gophers' Athlete's Village set to open January 2018

- It was a rocky few years for the Gopher athletics department, but one year into Mark Coyle's tenure as AD, things are looking promising.

A major project is near completion and Coyle had his chance to show the board of regents what he's accomplished.

Outlining the department’s budget and year-end achievements, Coyle highlighted a record cumulative GPA among student athletes, added sexual harassment training for all students and staff and added the soon-to-open Athletes Village.

“The project remains on time and on budget for an opening of January 2018," he said in a meeting with the Board of Regents.

The multi-million dollar facilities will give athletes new and improved areas for both practicing and studying.

"I think we got it right at the end of the day with having a true village and having as many of the athletes close to that center," Coyle said.

With the department's biggest expense being personnel, attention briefly turned to the cost of buying out former football coach Tracey Claeys and hiring the energetic P.J. Fleck.

“His contract was well below market value at $1.4 million,” he said. “We for [financial year 2018] had already budgeted an extra $1 million…so I believe the total hit was $1.5 million.”

But, the Board of Regents seemed happy with the purchase, praising Coyle for what he's done.

"What you've accomplished over a short period of time is quite remarkable, and it's not like it was an easy year," member Ken Powell said.

No doubt the athletic department is ready to forget its turbulent past as they look to live up to a new motto, “Nothing short of greatness.”

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