- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Minnesota's extensive search for an offensive coordinator ended today as head coach Tim Brewster hired Jedd Fisch.
Fisch spent the last eight seasons in the NFL, most recently as wide receivers coach with the Denver Broncos. He interviewed Monday for the Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator vacancy and likely would have been on other teams' radar if he didn't accept Brewster's offer to join the Golden Gophers.
"Jedd possesses a vast understanding of offensive football and has worked alongside three outstanding football coaches in the National Football League, as well as working with Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida," Brewster said in a statement. "In addition to his background, Jedd has tremendous people skills and will be an excellent recruiter. He is a young, rising star in the profession who is committed to helping us build a winner here at Minnesota. I could not be more excited that he has agreed to join our staff."
Fisch, who replaces Mike Dunbar as Gophers' offensive coordinator, said in a statement that he has known Brewster, a former NFL assistant, for seven years and expects to help Minnesota win its first Big Ten title since 1967. The 32-year-old Fisch last coached in college as a graduate assistant at Florida from 1999-2000.
The Gophers started 7-1 this season before dropping their final five games. They finished last in the Big Ten in rushing offense (103.8 ypg), prompting Brewster to hire offensive line coach/run game coordinator Tim Davis to restore Minnesota's reputation as a power run team.
Fisch, who has worked primarily with wide receivers and quarterbacks in the NFL, will work with one of the Big Ten's top passing combinations next fall in quarterback Adam Weber and wide receiver Eric Decker.
"Jedd is going to do a great job at the University of Minnesota and will take that offense where it wants to go," Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler said in a statement. "He is extremely detail oriented and helped us put together a game plan each week to put our receivers in a position to make plays. It made my job a lot easier as a quarterback, because he always had his guys well-prepared on game day and they fed off his enthusiasm."
Brewster interviewed several candidates after Dunbar stepped down Jan. 6, including East Carolina offensive coordinator Todd Fitch and Oklahoma State co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. The search centered upon Fisch on Tuesday.
If Fisch can effectively work with Davis, Minnesota's offense should be in good shape next fall. Most of the key components return, and if the line improves, the Gophers should put up more points.
Here are some statements about Fisch from around the NFL:
Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan: "Jedd has an unbelievable personality. He's a guy who will do a great job recruiting. He has great people skills, he's very charismatic and very smart. He'll be a head coach some day, on either the collegiate or professional level. That's how highly I think of him."
Former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick: "Minnesota is getting a great one. Jedd is one of the brightest coaches I've ever been around. He will bring great energy and experience to the program at Minnesota. The kids there will love having him as a coach."
Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall: "If it wasn't for coach Fisch, I wouldn't be in the Pro Bowl right now. He did a great job getting us through the stress and the ups and downs of the season. He had us prepared week in and week out. He's a guy who got the best out of me, no matter what. He really pushed me. Coach Fisch was a big part of the success our offense had last year."
1dSam Khan Jr.