Feb. 5, 2014
On Wednesday, the NCAA released a complete list of all-time Olympians by college program with the University of Minnesota dominating the rankings with a total of 54 alums listed including four former Gophers that will compete at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Minnesota is tied with Wisconsin for most alums competing in Sochi with Phil Kessel, Paul Martin and Blake Wheeler competing for the United States and Vanek playing for Austria. Additionally, Gophers All-American and currenct Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards will serve as an assistant coach with the U.S. men's team and Hobey Baker Award winner Robb Stauber will serve as goalie coach for the U.S. women's program.
Counting this year's alums, the Gophers have had 53 former players skate for the U.S. Olympic program with Vanek taking the total to 54. After Minnesota, Boston University ranks second in the nation with 32 Olympians, North Dakota ranks third with 27 and Boston College is fourth with 26.
Richards and Stauber join a prestious list of Gopher coaches in the Olympics including Herb Brooks, John Mariucci, Murray Williamson, Bob Johnson and Dean Blais.
The University of Minnesota has a long history of competing in the Olympic Games. Since 1936, the Gophers have had a reprsentative in every single Olympic Games.
The men's hockey competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics runs from Feb. 13-23 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
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The accolade recognizes 28 standouts out of more than 350 students honored throughout the academic year for displaying positive sportsmanship.
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