Gophers’ offensive coordinator turns down opportunity at West Virginia

P.J. Fleck won’t be losing his offensive coordinator after all.

A day after the 247Sports.affiliate in West Virginia reported that Kirk Ciarrocca was in the process of joining the Mountaineers coaching staff, Ciarrocca elected to remain as the Gophers’ offensive coordinator. The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press both reported that Ciarrocca had decided to remain on Fleck’s coaching staff.

West Virginia hired Troy coach Neal Brown last week and he attempted to get his friend, Ciarrocca, to join him.  Brown and Ciarrocca had worked together at Delaware. However, Fleck, the Gophers coach, and Ciarrocca also have known each other for several years.

Ciarrocca has worked with Fleck since 2010, when they were at Rutgers. Ciarrocca was offensive coordinator at the time and Fleck was the receivers coach. Fleck hired Ciarrocca to be on his coaching staff when he got the Western Michigan job in 2013 and brought him to Minnesota as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when he was hired in 2017.

The Gophers’ averaged 28.9 points per game this season en route to a 7-6 finish that included a 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Gophers went 3-1 in their final four games of the season, scoring 41 points in a victory over Purdue and 37 in a win over Wisconsin in Madison.

The Gophers used two freshmen quarterback this season. Zack Annexstad started the first seven games of the season before suffering an injury. Tanner Morgan, a redshirt, started the final six games.