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Gophers name Mike Sanford, Jr. as offensive coordinator and QB coach

Wide receivers coach Matt Simon was also promoted to co-offensive coordinator.
Credit: AP
Western Kentucky coach Mike Sanford disputes a call during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 34-3. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck has announced the hiring of Mike Sanford, Jr. as the team's new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Sanford comes to the Gophers from Utah State, where he held a similar position in 2019. Sanford's 15 years of coaching experience also include stints as head coach at Western Kentucky from 2017-18, as well as offensive coordinator at Notre Dame (2015-16) and Boise State (2014), and recruiting coordinator and coach at Stanford (2011-13). He also had stints at Yale and UNLV, where his coaching career began in 2005.

"I am thrilled to welcome Mike, his wife Anne-Marie and kids Peyton, Gunnar and Griffin to Minnesota," Fleck said in a statement. "I have known Mike for many years, and he will be an elite addition to our staff. Mike is one of the brightest young minds in the game and brings a wealth of experience to our offensive staff room and our offensive system."

Sanford's hiring comes just days after now-former Gophers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarocca announced a move to Penn State in a similar role, after three seasons with Minnesota.

RELATED: Minnesota OC Kirk Ciarrocca takes job at Penn State

The Outback Bowl champion Gophers also announced the promotion of Matt Simon to co-offensive coordinator. Simon called the plays during the Gophers' huge win over Auburn on New Year's Day. Simon will also continue to coach wide receivers for Minnesota.

RELATED: Johnson lifts Gophers to win at Outback Bowl