Minnesota hires offensive, defensive coordinators

Updated: January 24, 2007, 5:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota coach Tim Brewster started rounding out his new staff Wednesday, hiring former Cal and Northwestern offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar to run the Gophers offense and Tennessee Titans secondary coach Everett Withers as the defensive coordinator.

Dunbar, whose hiring at Minnesota was first reported by ESPN's Joe Schad, spent last season at California, helping coach Jeff Tedford refine the spread offense en route to the school's first share of the Pac-10 title in three decades. The Golden Bears were 12th in the nation in total offense last season and 11th in scoring offense, averaging nearly 33 points a game with quarterback Nate Longshore, running back Marshawn Lynch and receiver DeSean Jackson.

Prior to coming to Berkeley, Dunbar presided over a prolific offense at Northwestern for four years. The Wildcats averaged more than 500 yards of total offense a game in 2005, good for fourth in the nation, and quarterback Brett Basanez finished his career second to Drew Brees in Big Ten career passing yards, total offense and completions.

"This is a good opportunity for Mike and his family," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said in a statement. "It's a good chance for him to be more involved in a spread offense. We appreciate his contributions to the program and wish him well in the future."

Tedford said he will begin looking for a replacement immediately.

Withers has a history with Brewster. The two coached on Mack Brown's staff at Texas from 1998-2000, with Withers coaching the defensive backs and Brewster the tight ends.

Withers has previous experience as a defensive coordinator in the college ranks. He held the position at Louisville from 1995-97 and at Austin Peay in 1989.

In 1996, the Cardinals' defense led the nation in turnovers with 41 and ranked fourth in total defense and rushing defense.

Brewster's entire staff is expected to be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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