Trestman played at Minnesota from 1975-77 and was mentioned by Tony Dungy as someone who the Gophers should look at if Tim Brewster was fired. Trestman is an offensive minded coach who brought the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl while he was their offensive coordinator in 2002. He is currently the head coach of Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Trestman might be a big candidate for the job due to his connection to the school and the team.
Sumlin is the current coach of Houston where he led the Cougars to a 10-4 season last year. Sumlin is a Big Ten alum, playing at Purdue in the early 80's. Like Trestman, Sumlin is guy who is known for his offensive coaching, formerly holding positions as Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinator and the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Sumlin is another coaching candidate who has ties to Minnesota. He worked as the wide receiver coach from 1993-1996 and was the quarterback coach in 1997.
The former Kansas coach seems to be in the running for the Gophers job. Mangino was the head coach of the Jayhawks from 2002-2009 when he resigned as coach due to allegations about physical and verbal abuse towards players. He formerly was the offensive line and offensive coordinator for Oklahoma before landing the Kansas job. Mangino's best season came in 2007 where he led to Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory. Speculation about Mangino have been spurred when he was on the sideline for the Gophers game against USC.
Leach is another coach who has many years of head coaching under his belt. From 2000-2009 Leach was the head coach for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. During his 10 seasons with Texas Tech, Leach went an impressive 84-43. Leach coached the Red Raiders to 31-point comeback against the Gophers in the 2006 Insight Bowl. The comeback by Texas Tech was the tipping point for former Gophers' coach Glen Mason who was fired shortly after. Leach was fired after the 2009 regular season amid allegations of cruel punishment of players. The Gophers may not want to take a chance on a guy like Leach who brings a lot of baggage to the job.
Bellotti is the former head coach of the Oregon Ducks where he coached from 1995-2008. His tenure in Oregon ended with a record of 137-80-2, including 12 bowl appearances and six bowl victories. Bellotti's best season came in 2001 when the Ducks went 11-1 with a win in the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon ended the season ranked second in both the coaches and the AP polls. Although Bellotti is a proven winner, at age 59 he may be too old for what the Gophers are looking for. If the Gophers actually wanted to land Bellotti they would have to lure him away from his current job as an ESPN analyst.
Edsall is the current coach of Connecticut and has been with the team since 1999. Since the Huskies' jumped to Division I in 2004, Edsall has the led Connecticut to four bowl games, three of which he won. In 2007, Edsall led the Huskies to their first Big East title. Edsall has shown that he can take a program from nothing and turn it into a successful squad. He is a defensive coach who could help to turn the Gophers' defense into a group that could actually stop a Big Ten offense.
While Gopher fans may cringe at running the triple option at Minnesota, expect Calhoun to adjust to talent just like he did at Air Force. He has an NFL experience as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos and as an offensive coordinator with the Houston Texans. Calhoun has won at least 8 games during his three seasons at Air Force. Calhoun is familiar with the Gophers home stadium when he lead the Falcon against Minnesota last season in the first ever game at TCF Bank.
Patterson would a dream hire for the Gophers. The head coach of TCU has compiled a 92-28 record since taking of as head coach for the Horned Frogs. A defensive coach earlier in his career, Patterson has led the Horned Frogs to a 7-0 start this season while only giving up 9.3 points per game, best in the country. If the Gopher have any hope of landing Patterson they will need to throw a lot of money at him to get him to leave his comfortable position at TCU. A veteran coach and proven winner, will he leave TCU is the question?
McElwain is the offensive coordinator for the reigning national champions, Alabama. McElwain's power rushing offense is ideal for big and tough Big Ten. McElwain brings a resume that includes a national championship and a Heisman Trophy winner. He is also a Nick Saban protégé which has recently been a recipe for success given the recent accomplishments of Mark Dantonio and Jimbo Fisher. McElwain could bring a great offensive strategy that might bring the Gophers back to their roots as an elite rushing team.
Malazan is another great offensive mind that has taken the Tiger's offense to new levels including an impressive undefeated start this season and a No. 4 ranking in the BCS standings. He has only been a college coach for a few seasons, will the lack of experience keep him from landing a job such as the one in Minnesota?