MORRIS, Minn. - The University of Minnesota, Morris is pleased to announce the promotion of two long-time coaches in Cougar Athletics. Paul Grove, head men's basketball coach, and Matt Johnson, assistant football coach, have been named assistant athletic directors. These new administrative leadership roles complement their continuing coaching responsibilities.
Grove has served as head men's basketball coach for the last 11 years. He previously served as athletic director and head men's basketball coach at Normandale Community College and as assistant athletic director and head men's basketball coach at Mayville State University. Grove's work as assistant athletic director at Morris will support student-athlete retention and academic success. He will also lead development of a six-year capital improvement plan for intercollegiate athletics as the PE Center enters its fifth decade as the home for Cougar Athletics.
Johnson has spent nine years as a football coach for the Cougars. He has been involved with Cougar Athletics since 1999 and is a U of M, Morris graduate. As assistant athletic director, Johnson will coordinate support for student athlete recruitment by working with Admissions staff and coaches across all sports. He will also champion a plan to improve Cougar weight room facilities this year.
"I am excited to give these two outstanding staff members the opportunity to serve as assistant athletic directors," says Mark Fohl, athletic director. "Paul and Matt have the ability and experience to lead this athletic program to new heights. They are ready to step into these roles and have proven they can handle additional responsibility."
The new assistant athletic director roles add support for a growing intercollegiate athletics program. In the last academic year, 455 Morris students participated in 19 varsity sports--the highest participation level in the history of Cougar sports, which are aligned with national NCAA Division III campus participation levels. Today, one in five Morris students is involved in Cougar athletics.
"We are fortunate to have a talented group of coaches at UMM who are building an increasingly competitive athletic program that offers a great student experience," adds Sandy Olson-Loy, vice chancellor for student affairs. "This promotional track creates a new opportunity for their continued development and uses their talents to add support for all of Cougar Athletics."
Both Grove and Johnson will assist Fohl with game day management and other facility management duties, in addition to continuing their coaching responsibilities.