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Gophers football assistant salaries increase nearly $200,000 for 2022

Minnesota had 16 players enroll in January — nine high school players, five transfers and one walk-on

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Minnesota Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi works with players before a NCAA college football game against Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Oct. 5, 2019.
Brad Rempel / University of Minnesota Athletics
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Golden Gophers football program has signed 10 assistant coaches to contracts for the 2022 season, with the six retained coaches receiving raises, according to a St. Paul Pioneer Press records request met by the university on Wednesday.

Defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, who oversaw a top-10 defense in 2021, received the biggest salary boost of $136,000, giving him a 2022 salary of $800,000.

Running backs coach Kenni Burns got an $72,000 increase to $400,000, cornerbacks coach Paul Haynes received a $61,000 jump to $380,000, offensive line coach Brian Callahan netted a $54,000 raise to $465,000, receivers coach Matt Simon got a $34,000 boost to $430,000, and special teams coach Rob Wenger got a $25,000 increase to $345,000.

On his return to the program, new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca took a $625,000 salary, which was less than Mike Sanford Jr.’s rate of $663,000 in 2021 before he was not retained.

New defensive line coach Andrea “Brick” Haley, who comes from Missouri, will receive $420,000, an increase from Chad Wilt’s salary of $350,000.

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New tight ends coach Greg Harbaugh, who was the receivers coach at Western Michigan, will make $230,000, which is less than the $255,000 Clay Patterson made in that role last year.

New safeties coach Danny Collins, previously an defensive analyst at the U, will earn $200,000, which is less than half what Joe Harasymiak made ($410,000) in 2021.

Head coach P.J. Fleck’s renewed seven-year, $35-million contract in November included $350,000 more for assistant coaches, and roughly $178,000 has been spent, leaving $172,000 available. (These figures are rounded off and don’t include pandemic-related salary reductions that brought down wages for part of 2021.)

Callahan has a three-year contract; Ciarrocca, Rossi and Haley have two-year deals; and Burns, Simon, Haynes, Wenger, Harbaugh and Collins are on one-year terms through 2022.

January enrollees

Minnesota had 16 players enroll in January — nine high school players, five transfers and one walk-on.

The high schoolers are running back Zach Evans of Rockwall, Texas; defensive lineman Haden Schwartz of Jacksonville, Fla.; offensive lineman Cade McConnell of Choctaw, Okla.; receiver Ike White of Baltimore, Md.; cornerback Rhyland Kelly of Clearwater, Fla.; cornerback Tariq Watson of Harvey, La.; safety Coleman Bryson of Rabun Gap, Ga.; linebacker Maverick Branowski of Port Organge, Fla., and tight end Spencer Alvarez of Minneapolis.

The transfers: defensive linemen Darnell Jefferies (Clemson) and Lorenza Surgers (Vanderbilt); offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga (Michigan), and cornerbacks Beanie Bishop (Western Kentucky) and Ryan Stapp (Abilene Christian).

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Two transfers — Quinn Carroll (Notre Dame) and Chris Smith (Harvard) — and nine high school players will graduate from their current schools before coming to Minnesota in June.

Portal update

The Gophers remained active in the NCAA transfer portal in mid-January to bring total transactions to 22 players since mid-October.

Of the 15 departures, only four are headed to other Power Five conference schools, with the headliner being 2021 leading rusher Ky Thomas, a Topeka native, moving home to Kansas.

Here’s an updated list of all the Gophers’ incoming and outgoing players:

NEWCOMERS (former school)

CB — Beanie Bishop (W. Kentucky), Ryan Stapp (Abilene Christian); OL — Quinn Carroll (Notre Dame), Chuck Filiaga (Michigan); DL — Darnell Jefferies (Clemson), Chris Smith (Harvard), Lorenza Surgers (Vanderbilt)

DEPARTURES (new school)

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WR — Mnamdi Adim-Madumere (Central Arkansas), Brady Boyd (Texas Tech), Dylan Hillard-McGill (Pittsburg State); DL — MJ Anderson (Iowa State), Rashod Cheney (South Florida); QB — Zach Annexstad (Illinois State), Jacob Clark (Missouri State); LB — Jaqwondis Burns (Southern Methodist), DJ Gordon (South Florida); OL — Curtis Dunlap (Rutgers), Saia Mapakaitolo (unknown); TE — Austin Henderson (Liberty); K — Michael Lantz (unknown); RB — Ky Thomas (Kansas), RB — Cam Wiley (Akron)

Briefly

Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-year safety Antoine Winfield Jr., was named to his first Pro Bowl on Wednesday. He joins the team as an injury replacement. … Minnesota kickoff specialist Dragan Kesich recently was put on scholarship. “Blessed,” he posted on social media. The Oak Creek, Wis., native had 42 touchbacks on 66 kickoffs (64 percent) in 2021. … The U also welcomed walk-on tight end Frank Bierman (Iowa Western) in January.

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In head coach P.J. Fleck’s six recruiting classes since taking over the program in 2017, the U has signed an average of 3.6 scholarship players from Minnesota, ranging from a high of five in 2017 to a low of two in 2021