Mark Coyle became the University of Minnesota’s athletics director in May 2016. A former athletic administrator at Minnesota from 2001 to 2005, he returned to Gopher Athletics after serving as athletics director at Syracuse University and Boise State University, and as deputy athletics director at the University of Kentucky.
As Coyle enters his fourth year as the Gophers’ AD, there is a lot of celebrate.
Gopher student-athletes have recorded some of the highest grade-point averages in school history under his watch. The current cumulative GPA for Gopher student-athletes is 3.27, the highest mark recorded in department history. The 92 percent graduation success rate for Gopher student-athletes is the highest it has ever been and the best among all Big Ten public schools. In the past academic year (2018-19), a record number of Gophers were recognized as Academic All-Big Ten.
Minnesota has also excelled in competition, winning 15 conference titles during the first three years of Coyle’s tenure as AD. Those titles have come from nine different programs, from baseball and track and field, to hockey and soccer. Minnesota finished 20th in last year’s Learfield Directors’ Cup race, which measures broad-based success across all programs. That puts Minnesota in the top seven percent of all Division I athletics departments in the country.
This type of success isn’t new to Coyle. While at Syracuse, two of his programs won national titles and five won ACC championships. Prior to that, at Boise State, 18 Broncos teams posted record GPAs on the way to claiming 12 conference championships.
Coyle played football for Drake University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1991. He earned his master’s degree in teaching from Drake in 1992 and a master’s degree in sports administration from Florida State University in 1993.
Coyle and his wife Krystan have three children, Grace, Nicholas and Benjamin and live in St. Paul.