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