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Gopher Honors

1st Team All-Big 10

Marion Barber, TB, 1980
Ken Dallafior, OT, 1981
Jim Fahnhorst, LB, 1981
Bruce Holmes, LB, 1986
Jon Leverenz, LB, 1987
Chip Lohmiller, K, 1986
Jeff Schuh, DE, 1980
Darrell Thompson, TB, 1986
Garry White, FB, 1980
Troy Wolkow, OG, 1987

Head Coaches

Joe Salem, -1983
Lou Holtz, 1984-1985
John Gutekunst, 1986-

1980's Gopher Links

Gopher Scores, 1961-1980:
Gopher Scores, 1981-2000:
1985 Independence Bowl:
1986 Liberty Bowl:

Minnesota Golden Gopher Football- The 1980's

Joe Salem was a fine coach, and he had some innovative
ideas when it came to offense. However, he would soon
find himself swimming up the same steep stream that Cal
Stoll had before him. He inherited an apathetic admin-
istration with a lukewarm commitment to winning at the
major college level.

Still, in 1981, Salem produced his first (and only) 
winning Gopher football team. With JUCO-transfer quarter-
back Mike Hohensee at the controls, the Gophers pulled-off
major wins against Rose Bowl-bound Iowa and Ohio State.
Only a season-ending loss to Wisconsin in the snow kept the
Gophers from a bowl game. Sadly, the win over Ohio State
would be the Gophers last-ever victory in the old Brickhouse.
The team would be moved downtown to the HHH Metrodome 
starting in 1982.

1982 began with great promise- a 3-0 start. The Gophers would
drop their last eight, however, and would go 1-10 in 1983.
Salem would be gone, and new blood would be needed to rejuvenate
the program.

Lou Holtz came to Minneapolis, and for the first time in
memory the football coach was talking about Rose Bowls and
National Championships. He raised money, improved the facilities,
and immediately turned around the entire atmosphere surrounding
Gopher football.

The Gophers went 4-7 for Holtz in 1984, but went 6-5 in 1985
while very nearly beating Oklahoma and Ohio State. They
were invited to the Independence Bowl, where the defeated 

However, Holtz would be lured away by Notre Dame and would be
replaced by trusted assistant John Gutekunst, one of the finest
defensive minds in the country.

In Gutey's first season, the Gophers would finish tied for
third place in the Big Ten and would go to the Liberty Bowl.
The highlight of the season was a last-second, 20-17 victory
over unbeaten and #2 Michigan in Ann Arbor. Another plus was
the outstanding performance of freshman tailback Darrell
Thompson, who rushed for 1240 yards on the season.

Gutekunst would field winning Gopher teams again in 1987 and
1989, largely on the back of Darrell Thompson, who would gain 
over 1000 yards rushing in three of his four collegiate seasons.