University of Minnesota

Gophers 1977-78
(Authentic Reproduction)





For Minnesota football, 1977 was a high water mark as they went to their first bowl game since the 1961 Rose Bowl and even though it was the inaugural Hall Of Fame Bowl and not considered to be "major" in any way, it was a reward for a solid 7-4 season, one that dropped to 7-5 with the 17-7 bowl game loss to Maryland. Wearing new maroon helmet shells with the M logo on each side standing out in Green Bay gold, they upset number-one ranked Michigan 16-0, taking back the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 1967. LB Mike Hunt was National Defensive Player Of The Week and played three seasons with the Packers. With the D-line headed by All Big Ten tackle Steve Midboe, the defense gave up only 170 points for the season which was a step forward however they only scored 171 and sixty-nine of those came from the foot of All Conference kicker Paul Rogind. FB Ken Kitzmann set an NCAA record with fifty-seven carries against Illinois, picking up 266 yards in the process, and established his durability by carrying another forty times the following week against Wisconsin. Frosh TB Marion Barber's 582 yards was a solid contribution and both backs ran behind big OT Greg Murtha. The back-up QB was Mark Trestman who never made a lasting mark on the field but who became a long-time NFL offensive coordinator.


In 1978 TB Marion Barber was the wheelhorse with a school rushing record of 1237 yards and ten TD's, an easy All Big Ten choice and he again ran behind tough Greg Murtha. Elmer Bailey, a Lincoln (MO) College transfer emerged as a reliable receiver, hauling in twenty-seven passes from QB Mark Carlson. Despite the flashes of offense and good play by All Conference picks DE Steve Sytama and DB Keith Brown, and LB Jim Fahnhorst, Keith's younger brother, the record dropped to 5-6 and the 48-10 loss to Wisconsin in the finale was a disaster. After seven seasons, the boosters and administration felt that Stoll had done as much as he could and more than his 39-39 record and middle-to-back-of-the-pack Big Ten finishes were desired. Stoll was released and he settled into a successful life in business and earned an international reputation as a breeder of boxers, his name well-known on the competitive show dog circuit. He also founded the Second Chance For Life Foundation at the Minnesota Medical Center, a support group for heart transplant patients.

If interested in any of these Minnesota helmets please click on the photos below.