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Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Not Over

Just some recent items regarding goings-on with schools and leagues relative to the NSIC, the WCHA and Minnesota State Athletics.

The transition for Nebraska Omaha from the CCHA to the WCHA has gone quite well for the Mavericks.  And according to Tom Shatel...UNO fits the WCHA Like a Glove.

And speaking of schools joining leagues, 'twould appear that the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference is open for business.  We're hearing that the RMAC has extended invitations to three schools. Black Hills State, South Dakota School of Mines and Eastern New Mexico are in the mx and you can find coverage regarding this development here, here, here and here.  Along with teams from the NSIC, teams from the RMAC make up the NCAA Division II Central Region.

Long-time St. Cloud State director of athletics Morris Kurtz announced that he intends to retire at the conclusion of the 2011-12 school year.  That announcement was followed by another in which SCSU announced that former University of North Dakota men's hockey coach and athletic director Gino Gasparini has been hired as "special advisor of athletics."  Not sure exactly what this means, and we could be wrong, but it seems unlikely that Gino is the "Athletic Director in Waiting." He was the Sioux men's hockey coach from 1978-94 and served as the AD up until he left the school in 1994.  He was the commissioner of the United States Hockey League for 13 years up until 2009.  Morris Kurtz announces his retirement now to give the school 16 months to work on finding its replacement.  More likely Gino is brought in to assist with the renovations of the National Hockey Center, fundraising and the potential break-up up the WCHA.  Interesting, though that this announcement comes on the heels of administrative cuts within Athletics at SCSU.

Here's hoping you all have a good weekend.  It's great to be a Maverick!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

Just some random thoughts as we wrap the comforting blanket around us that is the traditional second college sports crossover season.

For us here at Minnesota State that means we start thinking of the possibility of hosting a men's basketball regional for the second consecutive year. The Mavericks were #1 in the region last week. We defeated St. Cloud State Friday, but dropped a 79-73 decision to Concordia Saturday, so there is some uncertainty that the top spot will be retained. MSU is rated 14th in the most-recent national poll. The next highest-rated team in the poll in our region is Colorado School of Mines, which comes in at #20, but is riding a 12-game winning streak.  So, that being said, we'd like to think that we'll still be rated #1 once the poll comes out tomorrow (Tuesday).  MSU has three regular-season games remaining prior to the start of the NSIC tourney March 2.

Others soon heading to the postseason include women's hockey (WCHA first round games are Feb. 25-27), men's hockey (WCHA first round games are March 11-13), women's basketball(NSIC tourney,  March 2), men's and women's indoor track (NSIC Championship meet in Bemidji, Feb. 25-26), wrestling (NCAA regional tourney, Feb. 27 in Sioux Falls)  and swimming (Midwest Conference Championship meet in Omaha, March 16-19) and diving (conference championship in Mankato this Friday and Saturday).

There's that and then there's the official start to our spring seasons.  Men's and women's tennis are both well underway. Softball started its year this past weekend with a pair of wins over Mount Mercy in the UNI Dome. Baseball starts its season March 4 in Florida with a slate of nonconference games over the course of nine days.  The women's golf team will also get going over the course of spring break with a trip to California the second week of March.  The men start March 27-29 with a tournament in Wayne, Neb.

Good times.  It's great to be a Maverick!