Tuesday, March 27, 2007

U of M Hires Bingle for the Long-Term

Matt Bingle, until now the Interim Head Women's Track & Field Coach at the University of Minnesota, was signed to a long-term contract, Gopher Athletic Director Joel Maturi announced yesterday.

Bingle (pictured) was instrumental in the Gopher's first-ever Big Ten Outdoor title last year as an assistant and won the 2007 Big Ten Indoor title as the interim head coach last month after long-time head coach Gary Wilson retired to an assistant coaching position.

"I am pleased to announce Matt Bingle as our new head women's track and field coach," Maturi said in the media release. "The recent success of the women's track and field program while Matt was an assistant and then the interim head coach was a huge factor in this hire. In addition, he embodies all of the values that make him such an important member of our Gopher family."

The removal of the interim modifier from Bingle's title was expected. The move will keep together the coaching triumvirate of Bingle, Wilson, and Lynne Anderson that has the led the Gopher women to their recent success.

"Matt, Gary Wilson and Lynne Anderson have done a tremendous job and we are very excited to keep that coaching staff together," Maturi said. "We look forward to many more years of success for our track and field program under Matt’s leadership."

Bingle was already named the 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year and Midwest Region Coach of the Year for his leadership this year.

“I am extremely blessed to be here at the University of Minnesota,” Bingle said. “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my wife and family. I also have to thank Coach Wilson because he didn’t have to do this. He’s like a father-figure to me and I have a lot of respect for him."

Bingle is just the third head coach in the history of the women’s track and field program, following Wilson, who spent 21 seasons as the head coach, and Mike Lawless. Wilson remains on staff as an assistant coach with the track and field program and recently signed a six-year contract extension to retain his position as the head coach of the women’s cross country team. Anderson coaches the Gopher throwers.

“What’s great for the program is that for the next six years there will be stability in the coaching staff,” Bingle said. “What we have going right now is working and any time you can have a good staff together and stay together, the sky is the limit.”

We just hope there was decent money left over for Bingle after last week's Tubby Smith signing!

In Addition: The Gopher media folks just posted this review of the indoor campaign.

Photo courtesy of the U of M.

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