About Minnesota Golden Gophers
Football program came to life at the University of Minnesota in 1882 being one of the oldest in college football, basketball was welcomed in 1896.
Minnesota has been a member of Big Ten Conference since the conference inception in 1896 as the Western conference. Big Ten belongs to NCAA Division I.
The Golden Gophers colours are maroon and gold, Golden Gopher is the university mascot and the name comes from the time Minnesota became known as the “Gopher State” in 1857 thanks to a political cartoon.
The university’s main rivals are Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers.
The Golden Gophers football programs won 7 national titles and have an all- time record of 669-498-44. Minnesota won 18 conference championships, produced one Heisman Trophy winner and took part in 18 Bowl games. Out of the 18 games the Gophers won 6; their last victory came in 2015 at Quick Lane Bowl, against Central Michigan and it finally snapped a streak of 7 straight losses dating back to 2005 and Music City Bowl loss to Virginia.
The only Heisman trophy winner, Bruce Smith, spent four season in NFL after the second World War finished but he didn’t make a significant impact within the league.
There have been few Gophers that turned into Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Carl Earl, a defensive end who stayed in Minnesota after leaving the college due to the fact that the Vikings drafted him with overall pick 6 in 1964 draft.
Earl, spent 15 seasons in NFL and during that time he was NFL champion in 1969, 3 times NFC champion, 6 times Pro Bowler, NEA NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFL 1970s All- Decade Team among many other accolades he accumulated during his career.
Basketball had some success pre tournament era when the Gophers won Premo-Porretta championships twice in 1902 and 1903.
Minnesota went to 12 NCAA tournaments and their highest place was to reach the Final Four in 1997. The Gophers were 9 times conference regular season champions but despite not a great amount of success there were some great Gophers turned into Basketball Hall of Famers, namely- Kevin McHale who spent all his 13 career years playing for the Celtics which he won three NBA titles with.
McHale was also 7 times NBA All- Star, twice- NBA Sixth Man of the Year, he was also named three times to NBA All- Defensive First and Second Teams. After retiring from playing he held few coaching positions since then.
Minnesota might be a cold harsh city to live in but it seems that creating athletes that contribute and leave mark behind them is something that the city and its university can be proud of.