When Minnesota hired Mark Coyle to take over as the University’s athletic director, the future for Tracy Claeys immediately became blurry.

Claeys had signed a three-year deal but had just a $500,000 buyout, a pretty cheap bargain nowadays. With a new boss in charge, the longtime defensive coordinator was going to have to prove he belonged on the Gopher sidelines for longer than a single season.

After an 8-4 season and another bowl bid, Coyle said of Claeys earlier this week “he is our head football coach…he has my full support.”

RELATED: Reports: Tracy Claeys Will be Back in 2017, Working on Extension

That sat well with the Minnesota head coach and his staff.

As reported in the Star Tribune by Joe Christensen, Claeys was appreciative of that support.

Whenever you have a new boss, you don’t know how they feel. Or some of them want to bring in their own person. So I trust him and respect him an awful lot.

According to reports, Claeys and Coyle are negotiating on a contract extension to keep the head coach at Minnesota past the 2018 season, the year his initial contact expired.

On Sunday, the Gophers learned they would be playing in the National Funding Holiday Bowl where they will battle Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars.