The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a two-year contract extension for Director of Athletics Mark Coyle on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. This agreement keeps Coyle under contract as the leader of Gopher Athletics through June 2030.
At Minnesota, Coyle oversees an athletic department that sponsors 22 varsity sports and showcases 625 student-athletes and 260 employees. Under his direction, the Golden Gophers have excelled in the classroom, on the field and in the collegiate community. He directs an athletic department that annually generates $471 million annually in economic impact in Minnesota and draws more than 1.2 million people annually to a Gopher athletic facility.
Coyle was named Director of Athletics on May 11, 2016. Since that time, Minnesota has won 16 regular-season conference titles, eight conference tournament championships and 17 individual NCAA national championships.
Those titles were earned by 11 different programs, spanning from baseball and volleyball to hockey and soccer. In the classroom, Minnesota has produced 251 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District selections and 79 College Sports Communicators Academic All-Americans.
In the most recent full academic year (2022-23), Gopher student-athletes posted a cumulative GPA of 3.40 and Minnesota had 318 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, 115 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars, 56 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District selections and nine College Sports Communicators Academic All-Americans. In the most recent APR scores, five Gopher programs recorded a perfect multi-year score, while eight programs had perfect single-year APR scores.
In the most recently released data in December 2023, Minnesota has a 95 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR). Under Coyle’s leadership, Minnesota has now recorded the six highest GSR statistics in school history during the last six years with a school-record 96 percent mark in 2021, 94 percent in 2022, 2020 and 2019, and a 93 percent rate in 2018. The Gophers also rank tied for third in the Big Ten with Illinois in the current GSR data behind only Northwestern and Michigan.
Minnesota finished 31st out of 305 universities in last year’s Learfield Directors’ Cup race, which measures broad-based success across all programs. That puts Minnesota in the top 11 percent of all Division I athletics departments in the country.
With Coyle at the helm, Minnesota opened the world-class Athletes Village in January 2018 that directly benefits every student-athlete on campus. The all-inclusive facility provides ample space for student-athletes to study, train and eat. In the last several years, Minnesota has also opened new facilities for golf and wrestling and built an outdoor track stadium. Minnesota is scheduled to break ground on a new gymnastics performance center in the coming months.
Minnesota continues to prioritize the mental health and well-being of its student-athletes under the direction of Coyle. The department has expanded its mental health resources and more than 65% of Gopher student-athletes use these services.
Coyle is also a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and is a former member of the Rose Bowl Management Committee.
Coyle returned to Minnesota in 2016 after overseeing the marketing department from 2001 to 2005. In between, Coyle was the athletics director at Boise State and Syracuse and was the deputy athletics director at Kentucky.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)