About the Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are taking the field to represent the University of Minnesota. They play out of the Huntington Bank Stadium in the NCAA Division I’s Big Ten Conference. The team has been a member of the Big Ten since its inception in 1896 as the Western Conference. Since then, the team has claimed seven national championships.]
Golden Gophers History
The Minnesota Golden Gophers first took the field on September 29, 1882 where they won a 4-0 victory against Hamline University. Eight years later, in 1890, the Gophers hosted Wisconsin who they defeated in a staggering 63-0 victory. Since then, the teams have consistently played against one another every year, with the exception of 1906. In fact, the Gophers/Badgers rivalry is the most played rivalry in Division I-A college football.
Today, the team has recovered from a series of losing seasons that began after their 8-2 1967 record. This streak of seasons where they failed to win 8 games in a season ended in 1999. And 2003 saw their first 10 win season since 1905.
The program has gone on to have several historic seasons with astronomic highs and bitter lows. But the Gophers dig in every year and play incredible matches of footballs for their die-hard fans.
About Huntington Bank Stadium
Huntington Bank Stadium, formerly known as the TCF Bank Stadium, is an outdoor stadium located on the University of Minnesota campus. It lies in the scenic parts of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When it was opened in 2009 it became popular for its facilities, features, and for being home to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It also became famous for serving as the temporary home for the Minnesota Vikings during the construction of US Bank Stadium. It was also home to the Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer during construction of Allianz Field.
The stadium was the first new Big Ten football stadium constructed since Memorial Stadium at Indiana University opened in 1960. It boasts the largest home locker room in college or professional football as well as one of the largest video boards in the country. Former players, some who have gone on to win Super Bowls as coaches, have even called the stadium incredible, unbelievable, and a hot contender for the best athletes.
The stadium is the third on-campus stadium used for the university. It is the first of three spectator sports stadiums that have been built for the major tenants of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome – The Gophers and two professional teams, the Minnosota Twins baseball and Minnesota Vikings football teams.
The first Gophers football game played there was on September 12, 2009 against the Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy. The Gophers won the day with a 20-13 score.This game stands out as it was the first on-campus football game since November 21, 1981, which was the last game played in Memorial Stadium, the Gophers’ former on-campus home.
The push to build a new on-campus stadium began in the fall of 2000. The university pointed to poor revenue and a lack of a true college football atmosphere at the off-campus Metrodome as the main reasons. The university formed a plan for a joint Vikings/Gophers stadium in 2002, but plans fell apart over differences in how the stadium would be designed and managed.
Later, the university tried again with the unveiling of a general plan to seek state money and donations in December 2003. On March 24, 2005, the University and TCF Bank announced a deal that led to the contribution of moneys towards the project that would give the bank naming rights.
The stadium features a massive scoreboard that is easily the centerpiece of the entire venue. At 48 by 108 feet in size, it is the largest video scoreboard in college football-only stadium and is third largest at the time of construction. It also features the Murray Warmath Locker Room, named in honor of the Gophers’ national championship winning coach from 1954 – 1971. It is the largest home locker room in college or professional football and features a block “M” lighting fixture and 120 custom-built cherry-wood lockers. Adjacent to the locker room is a fully equipped training room, therapy room, media room, private recruiting room, and other features. It can easily be considered one of, if not the absolute best locker rooms in the Big Ten.
Finally, the university recognizes how the stadium was paid for with taxes statewide and wanted to pay appropriate tribute. So the names of the state’s 87 counties are cast in stone around the perimeter of the first level. Each engraving is in a piece of cast stone that weighs 6,500 pounds.
Historic teams, such as the Golden Gophers, are bound to have stellar records full of amazing football action. At the time of writing, this includes a super hot All-time .571 record (712-529-44). This includes 21 bowl appearances and 7 claimed national titles (1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1960) and 2 unclaimed national titles (1911, 1915). \The program also battled their way to 18 Conference titles and 1 Division Title.
But we can’t forget the individual players that have made the Golden Gophers one of the most exciting teams in college football. This includes 1941’s Bruce Smith who was a Heisman Winner as well as the 34 players who were named Consensus All-American players.
These are other players that have made their mark on college football and have earned awards and honors for their talent.
- Tom Brown – 1960
- Bobby Bell – 1962
- Greg Eslinger – 2005
Jim Thorpe Award
- Tyrone Carter – 1999
Dave Rimington Trophy
- Greg Eslinger – 2005
John Mackey Award
- Matt Spaeth – 2006