Joe Rossi leaving Gophers for DC job at Michigan State

Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi talked Wednesday about missing the team's win at Illinois after testing positive for COVID-19.

Change is inevitable in college football, and the University of Minnesota football team will have a new defensive play-caller for the 2024 season.

According to multiple reports, defensive coordinator Joe Rossi is leaving P.J. Fleck and the Gophers for the same position under Jonathan Smith at Michigan State. 

Rossi just finished his sixth season at Minnesota and this past season, the Gophers were ranked No. 58 nationally in total defense, allowing 373.8 yards per game. They were 69th in scoring defense, allowing 26.9 points per game.

Rossi was a nominee in 2021 for the Broyles Award, which goes annually to the top assistant coach in college football. The Gophers were third in the nation in total defense that season, and sixth in scoring defense.

In six seasons, Rossi has helped get eight defensive players to the NFL. It’s a list that includes Antoine Winfield Jr., Carter Coughlin, Boye Mafe, Esezi Otomewo, Benjamin St.-Juste, Kamal Martin, Chris Williamson and Balke Cashman.