Camps Give Back to Smile Network

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The J Robinson Intensive Camps aren't just making wrestlers better as athletes, but as individuals. Along with teaching the core values of discipline, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, responsibility, accountability and service, the camps also teaches them to give back to a worthy cause.

The 37-year head coach and his youth camps donated $5,701 to the Smile Network International and presented a check towards the non-profit organization at their monthly luncheon, Thursday, Jan. 23 in Minneapolis.

The Smile Network is a Minnesota-based non-profit, humanitarian organization that provides life altering, reconstructive surgeries and related health care services to impoverished children and young adults in developing countries. For every $500 raised, the Smile Network has the ability to perform a surgery on a child or adult.

Each summer, youth wrestlers who attend the J Robinson Intensive Camps have the opportunity to donate money towards the Smile Network. At the conclusion, Robinson Intensive Camps match the total youth donation, all of which goes directly towards the Smile Network. Now in its fifth year donating towards the Smile Network, the camps have raised over $7,000 in just the past two seasons.

North Star College Cup to Visit Radio Show Tonight

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Go Gophers! TopTen
Go Gophers!The North Star
College Cup
Go Gophers!

Listen to tonight's show: 1500ESPN.com | Archived Radio Broadcasts

MINNEAPOLIS -- Don't miss your chance to see the North Star College Cup up close and personal tonight at the Beacon Public House on campus. 

The North Star College Cup will be at the Beacon from 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT tonight as part of this week's Don Lucia Radio Show on 1500 ESPN. Fans attending tonight's show are invited to have their picture taken with Minnesota's newest trophy following a thrilling shootout win over UMD in the event's championship game on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.

The Don Lucia Radio Show returns to the airwaves of 1500 ESPN for the 2013-14 season, airing live on Mondays during the year from the Beacon Public House inside the Commons Hotel on campus. Join Lucia and co-host Wally Shaver on Mondays throughout the season with each show airing live from 6:00-6:30 p.m. CT on 1500 ESPN. 

This week, the Don Lucia Radio Show looks back at a hectic month of January that saw Minnesota play Penn State for the first time ever, win the Hockey City Classic against Ohio State at TCF Bank Stadium and capture the inaugural North Star College Cup last weekend at Xcel Energy Center to extend the nation's longest unbeaten streak to 12 games. Lucia and Shaver will also preview this weekend's Big Ten Conference series against Michigan State. The Spartans come to Mariucci Arena this weekend for a two-game series -- Friday's 8 p.m. tilt is on the Big Ten Network while Saturday's 7 p.m. finale is on FOX Sports North PLUS (Channel Guide). Both games can also be heard live on the 1500 ESPN airwaves. 

For the second-season in a row, Beacon Public House will host a live viewing of the Don Lucia Radio Show with food and drink specials every Monday night for Gopher Hockey fans. Learn more about Beacon Public House here. 

McCutcheon Continues Stint With FIVB Committee

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Although the Gopher volleyball program is in between the fall and spring seasons, head coach Hugh McCutcheon is busy within the volleyball world.

McCutcheon travels to Lausanne, Switzerland this week, serving his second year of a four-year term on the FIVB Coaching Commission. As a part of their annual meetings, FIVB gathers together 11 groups, which began Jan. 22. The coaching commission meetings start Jan. 28.

As the secretary of the coaching commission, McCutcheon is the only United States coach represented on 12-person panel. Nominated by USA Volleyball and NORECA, McCutcheon represents USA Volleyball, while other individuals and zones travel yearly from Russia, Brazil, Poland, Japan and France, to name a few. The coaching commission discusses modifications and improvements to the international game.

McCutcheon came to Minnesota after an illustrious 11-year career with USA Volleyball as he earned two medals with the United States Men's and Women's Olympic teams. McCutcheon mentored the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team to a 106-39 record in his four years after leading the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team program to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal. Counting his 107-33 record leading the U.S. Men's program from 2005 to 2008, McCutcheon held a combined record of 213-72 with USA Volleyball.

Gopher volleyball will report for the spring season in March as spring competition will be held in April. The spring schedule will be announced in the near future.

Future Gophers Named to U.S. U-18 Squad

Today USA Hockey announced the 22 players that have been selected to the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team that will take part in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Under-18 World Championship, March 23-30, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary. The roster includes future Gophers Sydney Baldwin and Nina Rodgers, who will join Minnesota in fall 2014.

Baldwin and Rodgers are two of nine players on the roster who helped the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team collect the silver medal at the 2013 IIHF Women's Under-18 World Championship in Heinola, Finland.

The team was selected following the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team Winter Camp, held Dec. 27-31, at Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. The IIHF Women's Under-18 World Championship is being played for the seventh time and will include teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Team USA captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008, 2009) and again in 2011 and the silver medal in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Read more:

USA Hockey Release: 2014 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team Unveiled
U.S. Roster: 2014 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team
GopherSports.com: Women's Hockey Signs Four 

Gophers in the News: MSU Recap, SCSU Preview

Catch up on recent media coverage of Gopher women's hockey, including more recaps of Minnesota's sweep over Minnesota State and the outdoor Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium and previews of Minnesota's series with St. Cloud State this weekend.

Minnesota Daily: Minnesota handles Mankato with ease in sweep
Jan. 21, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Hockey City Classic sets attendance mark
Jan. 21, 2014

USCHO: Davis in the middle of Minnesota's outdoor shutout of Minnesota State
Jan. 17, 2014

Gold and Gopher: Hockey City Classic: Outdoor hockey debut a success for U
Jan. 19, 2014

USCHO: Photo Gallery: Hockey City Classic
Jan. 18, 2014

Pioneer Press: Gophers women's hockey: Four-goal second sinks MS Mankato
Jan. 19, 2014

USCHO: WCHA referee wears helmet camera at the Hockey City Classic
Jan. 19, 2014

Minnesota Daily: Brandt finds niche as go-to player
Jan. 23, 2014

True Student-Athletes

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Happy New Year Gopher Fans!

I am hoping this blog finds each of you enjoying a happy and healthy start to 2014. Spending time with family and friends always feels like it is not long enough, but it certainly helps to re-energize myself to push even harder to achieve my short- and long-term goals. Our push this time of the year as a coaching staff is dedicated to recruitment, engaging with alumni/donors of Gopher Golf and the collection of current student-athletes grades' from the fall semester. I enjoy the many varying job responsibilities that come along with being the head coach at the only Division I golf university in Minnesota.

Go Gophers! Grady Meyer
Go Gophers!
Freshman Grady Meyer turned in the top fall GPA.
Go Gophers!
Our golf team's progress in the classroom is one of the things I am most proud of since my arrival at Minnesota as the head coach. Each semester our cumulative GPA has risen since the fall of 2010. I can proudly say that the cumulative GPA of our current roster is 3.37 after the fall of 2013, and we were able to obtain one of the highest single-semester GPAs in the history of Gopher Golf this fall with a 3.42. To give perspective, our cumulative GPA has risen 0.62 over the past seven seasons. Congratulations go out to our 10 team members, especially Grady Meyer for achieving the first 4.0 in the past decade, and to our academic advisor, Chelsie Schafer, for her countless hours spent overseeing the success of our golf team.  In recruitment, talent is obviously a big factor in who we are looking to bring in but the University of Minnesota and our coaching staff values having outstanding student-athletes, first and foremost!

Recruiting has taken me to Miami, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Managua, Nicaragua, in the last three weeks. The Junior Orange Bowl in Miami hosts a field of the top-ranked International players from more than 40 countries. The Orange Bowl was a regular stop on the junior golf circuit for our own freshman Jose Mendez of Costa Rica. The Biltmore Golf Course near the University of Miami never disappoints and this will hopefully turn out to be a very important recruiting trip as I made a scholarship offer after the final round. Then, I boarded my first ever flight to Central America to recruit the Central American InterClub Junior Championship at Nejapa Golf Club in Managua, Nicaragua.  Jose played in his final junior event of his career and wound up taking home the championship by two strokes against the top players from six Central American countries--Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.

Recruiting players to Minnesota is a fascinating science. Coach Tyler Stith and I recruit the entire world but streamline our daily recruiting focus to a mix of six to 10 countries ranging from England to Panama, along with a major focus on Midwestern United States prodigies. Minnesota has so much to sell: the great collection of golf courses we have the privilege to play, indoor facilities that include the Golden Valley Chip and Putt to Braemar Dome, a high level of technology with the recent purchase of a TrackMan launch monitor and finally the superior level of college education at the University of Minnesota. The attraction of playing at a program that has won an NCAA Championship and competes in the Big Ten each week helps to draw the raving reviews of national team coaches from six continents.

Because our season is broken up into two separate seasons (Sept. 4-Nov. 10 and Jan. 21-May 4), I want to use the remainder of this blog to highlight a few of our 10 team members who have helped us in the fall to a national ranking of No. 68 out of 308 Division I teams and will play major roles in the spring season leading into the Big Ten and NCAA Championships.

Go Gophers! Alex Gaugert
Go Gophers!
Alex Gaugert
Go Gophers!
Player Feature: Alex Gaugert (Sr./Lake Geneva, Wis./Lake Geneva HS)

GopherSports: What are your goals for the 2013-14 season?
Alex Gaugert: Make the postseason.

GS: What part of your game is your biggest strength?
AG: Ball striking and putting.

GS: Which course in the Twin Cities area is your favorite and why?
AG: Minikhada CC. The location: close and in the city and by the lake, and the golf course layout is very fair and fun.

GS: Favorite club in your bag?
AG: Putter for sure. Making a putt is the best feeling.

GS: Anything interesting you carry around in your golf bag?
AG: A notebook with notes in it, about my swing and about my golf game in general.

GS: What is your favorite thing about being a Golden Gopher?
AG: It is an honor to be a Gopher, with the amazing athletes and people that have come through here.

Genki Hirayama (Sr./Nagasaki, Japan/Highland Park HS)

GS: What are your goals for the 2013-14 season?
GH: Improve in every part of my game.

GS: What part of your game is your biggest strength?
GH: Driving and chipping.

GS: Which course in the Twin Cities area is your favorite and why?
GH: Interlachen Country Club, because I won a tournament there last summer.

GS: Favorite club in your bag?
GH: Titleist 58 degree wedge.

GS: Anything interesting you carry around in your golf bag?
GH: Alignment stick.

GS: What is your favorite thing about being a Golden Gopher?
GH: I get to play great golf courses and practice at one of the best practice facilities in the nation.

Tyler Lowenstein (Jr./Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata HS)

GS: What are your goals for the 2013-14 season?
TL: My goal for the season is to be named All-Big Ten and to get an individual win.

GS: What part of your game is your biggest strength?
TL: Ball striking is my biggest strength,

GS: Which course in the Twin Cities area is your favorite and why?
TL: Windsong Farm is my favorite course in the area because the greens are always good and the course design is awesome.

GS: Favorite club in your bag?
TL: My driver is my favorite club in my bag

GS: Anything interesting you carry around in your golf bag?
TL: I carry a special ball marker in my bag that I use during tournaments. It is a coin my parents gave me a long time ago.

GS: What is your favorite thing about being a Golden Gopher?
TL: We get to travel around the country representing the state of Minnesota. That's a pretty cool thing.

Stay tuned for my next blog that will serve as a preview to the Big Ten Match Play at Concession GC in February. I want to encourage all of you to get more involved in OUR program at Gopher Golf by reading my blogs, frequenting Gophersports.com, watching my video tournament previews, donating to facility plans or team service fund at goldengopherfund.com, volunteering at the 2014 Gopher Invitational and following our team's live scoring each week at Golfstat.com.

Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

John Carlson

Gopher Volleyball Set to Host Season Banquet

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The University of Minnesota volleyball and the Point U! Booster Club will hold its annual banquet, Sunday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. The event will be held on the U of M campus in TCF Bank Stadium's Indoor Club Room.

Minnesota will announce its letterwinners and team awards at that time as well celebrating a Sweet 16 berth in the 2013 season. Tickets and reservations should be made through the Point U! website, which is located here.

HDM Video: Reilly Family Feature

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In case you missed it, FOX Sports North told the unique story of the Reilly family as part of Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 last Saturday. Not only does the family have three brothers (Mike, Ryan and Connor) on the top-ranked Gopher men's hockey team, but all five Reilly children are slated to have played or to play Division I hockey with older sister, Shannon, at Ohio State and younger sister, Caitlin, signed to play for Penn State starting next season. Furthermore, the family patriarch, also Mike Reilly, is a Gopher Hockey alum. 

Check it out: 

Gold Out the Barn

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Following a two-game road swing, the University of Minnesota women's basketball team returns to Williams Arena Thursday to host Wisconsin in a Big Ten border battle at 8:00 p.m. on BTN, and the Gophers need your help to GOLD OUT the Barn. Fans are encouraged to wear gold to the contest and will receive a gold pom pom upon entry to the game.

Don't have any gold apparel? Check out some of these options at Goldy's Locker Room or pick something up at one of the merchandise booths at the game.

     
Go Gophers! Gold Out

Warning's Hat Trick Featured in NCAA Top Plays

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Big Ten Second Star of the Week Sam Warning tallied the first natural hat trick in Big Ten Conference history on Saturday in a 4-2 win over Ohio State, and the performance landed him on the NCAA's Top Plays of the Week. 

Check it out.