Minnesota adds Mike Sanford Jr. to staff as offensive coordinator

Morgan, Johnson link up for 73-yard TD (0:27)

Tanner Morgan goes deep to Tyler Johnson, who runs in for a 73-yard touchdown. (0:27)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck hired Mike Sanford Jr. and promoted Matt Simon to fill his offensive coordinator vacancy Friday.

Sanford, who will also serve as quarterbacks coach, held the dual role at Utah State in 2019. He was head coach at Western Kentucky for two seasons prior to that, after stints as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame (2015-16) and Boise State (2014). Sanford has also been on staff at Stanford, Yale and UNLV. He played quarterback for Boise State.

Sanford will officially be the offensive coordinator, while Simon, who will also continue as wide receivers coach, had his title elevated to co-offensive coordinator after handling the playcalling in the Outback Bowl victory over Auburn on Wednesday. The Gophers had 494 total yards in a 31-24 win to finish 11-2.

Sanford and Simon will replace Kirk Ciarrocca, who had served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Fleck since he became head coach at Western Michigan in 2013, following him to Minnesota in 2017. Ciarrocca was hired last week by Penn State for the same post.