MINNEAPOLIS -- It looks like Glen Mason is leaving Kansas again.
Almost exactly one year after he accepted, and later turned down, the coaching job at Georgia, Mason was expected to be named the new Minnesota coach at a news conference this morning.
McKinley Boston, a university vice president who oversees Minnesota's men's and women's athletic departments, would not confirm reports Friday night that Mason would be hired to replace Jim Wacker. Boston did confirm that a new coach would be named this morning.
If it is Mason, he would take over one of the Big Ten's worst football programs and leave behind a nine-year career at Kansas that had been considered a success until last December's bizarre developments.
Preparing for the Aloha Bowl after a 9-2 regular season in 1995, Mason stunned Kansas by accepting the Georgia job. He even was introduced as the new coach at a news conference, but a week later changed his mind without giving specific reasons.
It was an embarrassing situation for both schools and Mason, and hard feelings lingered in Kansas athletic circles.
Still, Mason is credited with turning around the Jayhawks' program, although they finished 4-7 this year and lost six of their last seven games. The Jayhawks lost their last four at home and were outscored 78-7 after halftime in those games. They won just two Big 12 Conference games this season after tying for second behind Nebraska in the old Big Eight last year. But Mason's credentials are firmly established. Prior to his arrival at Kansas in 1988, the Jayhawks had lost 15 straight conference games and had a winning record just once in 11 seasons.
They went 1-10 in his first season, but improved to 6-5 in 1991. The next season they went 8-4 and wound up ranked 22nd after beating BYU in the Aloha Bowl. The Jayhawks slipped to 5-7 in 1993 but had winning records the next two seasons. Their 1995 record of 10-2 represented the most wins in school history, and the Jayhawks wound up ranked ninth after beating UCLA 51-30 in the Aloha Bowl on Dec. 25, the day Mason announced his decision to turn down the Georgia job. The 46-year-old Mason has a 47-54-1 record at Kansas, after a 12-10 mark in two seasons at Kent State.
At Minnesota he would inherit a team that lost 24 of its last 27 Big Ten games under Wacker, who resigned after compiling a 16-39 record in five seasons.
Mason also will be able to start fresh with a new administration. Minnesota's Board of Regents approved Mark Yudof, provost at the University of Texas at Austin, as the university's new president Friday. Men's athletic director Mark Dienhart had said he would wait until after a president was named to pick a new football coach, and he didn't wait long. Mason, who said just last month that he was not looking for a different job, came to Minneapolis to interview Friday. He was the fourth candidate to interview this week.
Florida defensive coordinator Bob Stoops visited Sunday and turned down the job a day later. Northern Iowa coach Terry Allen interviewed Wednesday, followed by Nebraska assistant head coach Frank Solich on Thursday.
Also Thursday, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, a former Golden Gophers quarterback, withdrew from contention. Washington State coach Mike Price also withdrew last weekend.@et