Coaching Veteran John Gutekunst Joins the Columbia Football Staff

NEW YORK - Veteran college football coach John Gutekunst has joined the Columbia coaching staff, Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Norries Wilson announced recently.

"We are happy that Coach Gutey has decided to join our staff as the defensive backs coach," Wilson said. "He will be a great resource for our entire staff and a great mentor and teacher for our defensive backs.  He brings a treasure trove of experiences from which each of us can draw.  Unfortunately this means I will have to stop lying to the players about how good a player I was in college."

Gutekunst, who was Wilson's head coach at the University of Minnesota in the late 1980s, brings a wealth of experience at every level of college football.

After graduating from Duke, where he played football and baseball, Gutekunst joined the Duke coaching staff and held a spot on the staff from 1967-78.

Prior to the 1979 campaign, Gutekunst joined the staff at Virginia Tech where he helped the Hokies to a five-year record of 36-20 from 1979-83. He then served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach under Lou Holtz at Minnesota during the 1984-85 seasons before beginning a six-year tenure as the head coach of the Gophers (1986-91).

In 1986, he led Minnesota to the Liberty Bowl in a season that was highlighted by a 20-17 upset victory over then second-ranked and previously unbeaten Michigan. He also was the Gophers' head coach in a 20-13 triumph over Clemson in the 1985 Independence Bowl.

After coaching one season with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League, Gutekunst moved back to the college ranks for one-year stints at Wake Forest (1992) and South Carolina (1993). He then was the defensive coordinator at Rutgers from 1994-95 and coached the defensive backs and kickers at Rhode Island from 1996-98.

In 1999, Gutekunst reunited with Holtz and returned to South Carolina for five seasons (1999-03), coaching the Gamecock defensive secondary. In 2000, the Gamecocks posted 20 interceptions while allowing a league-low five touchdown passes. Defensive back Sheldon Brown was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America team while Gutekunst earned AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year accolades.

In 2001, South Carolina's defense ranked second in the SEC as two defensive backs - Brown and Andre Goodman - received All-SEC honors and were later selected in the 2002 NFL Draft. Gutekunst also coached All-SEC cornerback Dunta Robinson, who was chosen with the 10th overall selection by Houston in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Gutekunst served three seasons (2004-06) at North Carolina, coaching the linebackers as a co-defensive coordinator in 2004 before switching to the tight ends for his final two years. He added the responsibilities of assistant head coach in 2006.

He served a second stint at Duke during the 2007 season as the defensive secondary coach. 

Most recently, Gutekunst was the special teams coach and defensive assistant at East Carolina under Skip Holtz. Gutekunst helped lead the Pirates to the Conference USA title in 2009 while coaching Dwayne Harris, the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year, and All-American punter Matt Dodge.  Dodge was drafted by the New York Giants in the 2010 NFL Draft.