Mark Coyle named new Gophers AD

- Mark Coyle, the athletics director for Syracuse University, will be the next director of Gophers athletics, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced Wednesday.

Coyle was offered a five-year contract with a base salary of $850,000 per year, one of the lowest salaries for an athletics director in the Big 10. Coyle visited campus Wednesday to meet with coaches and other Gophers Athletics staff. He was officially introduced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, Syracuse University said Coyle cited “family reasons” for leaving the university after less than a year in the position. He started at Syracuse in June 2015.

“I regret the timing,” Coyle said at the press conference. “There was one place I was going to leave Syracuse for and it’s Minnesota.”

Coyle and his wife are both Iowa natives and their two children were born in Minnesota. Coyle said he has a sister that lives in Rochester and extended family that lives throughout the Midwest.

Prior to his stint at Syracuse, Coyle previously served as athletics director at Boise State University and as deputy athletics director at the University of Kentucky. Additionally, he served as associate athletic director for external relations at the University of Minnesota from 2001 to 2005, where he managed athletics communications, marketing and sales and the ticket office.

"We love this place," Coyle said of the university. 

Coyle addressed the recent problems surrounding the Gophers men’s basketball teaming, saying he will hold all student athletes responsible for their actions in his role as athletics director.

The University of Minnesota has been looking for a new athletics director since the August 2015 resignation of Norwood Teague amid sexual harassment allegations. Beth Goetz had been serving as the interim athletics director and was reportedly one of the four finalists for the position.

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