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Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007
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Big bucks can't pull coach away

Star-Telegram Staff Writer
TCU coach Gary Patterson had discussions with Minnesota officials, but he turned down the job to stay in Fort Worth.
TCU coach Gary Patterson had discussions with Minnesota officials, but he turned down the job to stay in Fort Worth.

Gary Patterson remains TCU's football coach, but Minnesota officials made a serious push over the weekend to make him the head of the Gophers' program.

Sources told the Star-Telegram that the Horned Frogs coach was offered a salary worth more than $2 million to leave Fort Worth. He turned down the offer Sunday, and Minnesota hired Denver Broncos tight ends coach Tim Brewster on Tuesday.

Patterson did not confirm terms of the reported contract offer, though he did acknowledge that he discussed the opening with representatives from Minnesota and Baker-Parker and Associates, an Atlanta-based headhunting firm.

The vacancy was created Dec. 31, when Glen Mason was fired two days after the Gophers surrendered a bowl-record 31-point lead and lost to Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl.

"I was flattered to be pursued," Patterson said. "But at the end of the day, it confirmed how good a job I have at TCU and how good the people in the community of Fort Worth are."

Athletic director Danny Morrison and Patterson declined to comment on whether Patterson's contract was being reworked as incentive for him to stay at TCU.

Sources, though, said the $1 million buyout clause will be reduced in Patterson's contract, which runs through 2012 and pays more than $1 million a year.

Patterson, who just completed his sixth season as the Frogs' coach, also stands to earn an annuity of more than $1 million if he finishes the six years remaining on his contract.

Also, he will be given a larger pay pool with which to give raises to his assistant coaches.

"We're delighted that Coach Patterson is staying at TCU," Morrison said. "It shows his continued commitment to this special place and this special city."

The Star-Telegram reported in Saturday's editions that Patterson met with Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi and other staff members in the Metroplex.

He left the meeting without a contract offer and returned to TCU for a recruiting weekend.

Players were back on campus for the start of the spring semester Tuesday and were with Patterson for a team meeting. Off-season conditioning begins today, and spring practices are set to begin March 3.

The Frogs went 11-2 last season, which was capped by a 37-7 victory over Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl and final rankings of No. 21 and No. 22 in the USA Today and The Associated Press Top 25 polls.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7953