Minnesota DC Joe Rossi Tests Positive for COVID-19; Won’t Coach Saturday vs Illinois

Photo: University of Minnesota

Minnesota Gophers Defensive Coordinator, Joe Rossi tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, per a university release this morning. He will not coach vs the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, in Champaign. Defensive Backs, Safeties and Co-Defensive Coordinator, Joe Harasymiak will call plays in Rossi’s absence.

Rossi’s first positive test came via antigen testing, earlier in the week. It was later confirmed by a second PCR test. No other coaches have tested positive.

More on Joe Harasymiak

Joe Harasymiak was a coveted hire for PJ Fleck before the 2019 season. Harasymiak was seen as a rising young coaching star after turning a Maine program (FCS) around in just three seasons. He and Rossi are tight and that’s why he came to Minnesota in the first place.

PJ Fleck also said that Harasymiak’s title would be dictated by Joe Rossi, when he was first hired. If that still holds true, then his “co-defensive coordinator” position would’ve been handed down by Rossi, himself.


Joe Rossi has received a lot of criticism for the terrible start of this Minnesota Gophers defense. Earlier this week when asked about Rossi, PJ Fleck had nothing but good things to say. No matter how things go Saturday, don’t expect Joe Rossi to go anywhere.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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