After helping Minnesota win nine games in 2019, offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca left Minnesota for Penn State. He was fired after one season with the Nittany Lions.
Now, after spending last season at West Virginia, the 56-year-old has been reunited with the Golden Gophers — and much of the supporting cast he helped lead to 11 wins in 2019. Ciarrocca served as Minnesota's OC from 2017-19.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Mohamed Ibrahim are both returning for their sixth season, and coach P.J. Fleck believes getting the band back together could lead to another big season in 2022.
Fleck isn’t alone.
“When the opportunity came back to hire him, him and I, it was easy. It was like yes. What I respect about KirkKirk wanted to know how that would affect the kids, and I wanted to know how that would affect the kids,” Fleck said. “I said, of course you might have to answer some questions in your first team meeting, but that will be easy after the first five minutes, and he did. I know we’re excited to have him. Tanner’s really excited to have him.”
Morgan threw for 3,253 yards and 30 touchdowns, both career highs, and had just seven interceptions in 2019. Last season he had 2,044 yards passing with just 10 TDs and nine INTs.
Ibrahim, who tore his Achilles in the season opener last year and decided to return to school instead of entering the NFL draft, rushed for a career-best 1,160 yards in 2018, also under Ciarrocca.