Auggie Pride for Auggie Athletics

Athletics logoThis week is NCAA Division III Week, a celebration of all the wonderful things that Division III is all about. We have so much to celebrate. Congratulations to …

•  The men’s hockey team and Augsburg men’s hockey coach Chris Brown, who was named MIAC Coach of the Year for his leadership of the MIAC-champion Auggies. Eight Augsburg men’s hockey players earned postseason honors from the MIAC.

Hockey screenshot•  Enjoy a video of that magic moment when Mack Ohnsted scored in the third overtime to lift Augsburg over St. John’s to the MIAC men’s hockey championship, sending the Auggies to the NCAA Division III national playoffs.

•  Augsburg men’s hockey goalie Jordyn Kaufer, named to the CCM Hockey/AHCA Division II-III All-America Team. Kaufer is Augsburg’s 34th All-American in men’s hockey.

•  Augsburg women’s hockey qualified for the MIAC postseason playoffs for the fifth time in school history. The Auggies third-place conference finish was the team’s highest MIAC finished since 1999-00, when the team won the conference and regular season playoff titles. See the team video.

•  Augsburg’s wrestling team finished fifth at the NCAA Division III National Championships, and had four All-Americans this year.

longendyke_wrestling•  Augsburg wrestler Donny Longendyke qualified for a spot in this weekend’s U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in Iowa City, Iowa.

•  Maria Loughlin (All-MIAC) and Jenna Orth (All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team), who earned MIAC women’s basketball postseason honors.

•  Stan Nelson ’43 will be honored with the Bud Grant Distinguished Minnesotan Award by the National Football Foundation on April 17.

•  Missy Strauch, head athletic trainer at Augsburg College, will receive the Fred Zamberletti Award from the National Football Foundation.

•  Augsburg wrestling alumni Scott Whirley ’82 and Henry Gerten ’98 who were inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame.

Stay tuned to Auggie Athletics for the latest. Spring sports, we’re ready for you!

Corporate Coach

HawksHeadShotAs one of the first 30 employees at Rollerblade, Inc., Lisa Svac Hawks ’85 was tasked with producing some of the first competitive in-line skating events across the U.S. to showcase the “blades.” Though she had never run a race, her job was to put people on skates, help them get in shape, and encourage them to have fun. She was part of the team that drove in-line skating into the cultural forefront as one of the fastest-growing sports of the time. When she and some ex-Rollerblade execs later launched and marketed “snow skates” in the U.S., these Sled Dogs caught on and were featured in a Newsweek story. The exposure and marketing resulted in Hawks’ traveling to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, to work with the Norwegian Military Ski Team that would put on a dramatic display of the snow skates during Opening and Closing ceremonies.

This marketing success convinced Hawks that she had found her niche in marketing and communication, and that her decision to forego the field of broadcasting—even after an internship at the local ABC-TV station—was the right one for her. At each step in her career since then, new positions seemed to call out her desire to “build” something—whether in terms of products, experiences, relationships, a fine-tuned team, or an unusual market launch. She loved finding undiscovered opportunities, using good communication tools, and assembling a good team—and she still loves the challenge and fun of doing it.

She uncovered such an opportunity at Paper Direct, a high-end specialty paper company, where she was given 45 days to convince the leadership that her alternative idea to existing market launch plans could work. She did so, and the company followed her lead toward specialty retailing to small businesses, setting up distribution networks all across the country at outlets that sold computers and printers.

Hawks later landed at Musicland, where she led the full gamut of communications—investor relations, public relations, employee communications, earnings releases, annual reports, investor reports, etc. Soon after, when the company was acquired by Best Buy, she was invited to take a leadership role in Best Buy’s communications department. She enjoyed some “phenomenal” experiences over the 12 years she worked there, including launches that involved The Rolling Stones, Bill Gates, Usher, and other pop culture figures. Continue reading “Corporate Coach”

Opening Doors and Paying It Forward

RathmannThis year’s Auggie Networking Event on February 9 is the perfect opportunity for graduates of all class years and majors to connect with fellow Auggies, support student success, and build your Auggie network. This event is open to all students and alumni, and features pop-up speakers, free headshots, refreshments, and more. Beyond expanding your own alumni network, the event offers the chance to open doors for current students.

When Nick Rathmann ’03 made his way to the Augsburg campus last February for the Auggie Networking Event, he encountered blizzard conditions. But the Blake High School athletic director—not inclined toward defeat—arrived safely, only to find 250 others there as well. The popular annual event offers an evening full of connecting opportunities both for students seeking work and for alumni who can help, as well as for alumni seeking new positions.

KendallCSometime that February evening, Rathmann was introduced to Kendall Christian ’15, an Exercise Science major who was about to graduate. He discovered that she had played hockey all four years, as well as club lacrosse for two. Impressed with her professionalism and polish, as well as the description of her journey through hockey, he saw in her an ability to understand the value of the process. Her passion for sports and development was obvious to him, and he could sense she had learned some incredible life lessons, and possessed remarkable leadership skills. As Rathmann says, “Credit to Augsburg, both teachers and coaches, for her preparation. Credit to her for her motivation and focus on professional development.”

Rathmann mentioned a girls lacrosse coaching position opening up in the spring, so Christian followed up with an email, and was soon invited to the school for further discussion. Soon after, she was offered the position at Blake School, where she found amazing support for athletes and students among coaches and teachers—“professional and personable.”

Christian says, “It can be intimidating to market yourself, but Augsburg alumni are invested in helping students.” She hopes all students will use this extensive network to their full advantage.

Rathmann believes Augsburg students are inherently competitive and motivated—competitive just to get into the school, and motivated by the best traits of other students, teammates, faculty, and coaches. Those traits “rub off on you,” and you take them with you.

From the point of view of a professional alum, Rathmann says, “We have all been helped and mentored. It’s important to pay it forward when we can. A cup of coffee and a 30-minute conversation can go a long way. Augsburg grads are everywhere—and that is a great thing!”

See Kendall Christian at this year’s Auggie Networking event on February 9. As one of the evening’s pop-up speakers, she’ll share more about her story and experience as a young alumna.

—by Cheryl Crockett ’89

 

Coaching with Conviction: From Auggie Pride Comes a Passion for Teaching

Bottom (L-R): Andy Johnson, Mark Joesph; Top (L-R): Royce Winford, Jordan Berg, Derrin Lamker, David Tilton, Jack Osberg
Bottom (L-R): Andy Johnson, Mark Joesph; Top (L-R): Royce Winford, Jordan Berg, Derrin Lamker, David Tilton, Jack Osberg

Derrin Lamker ’97 remembers that he wanted to be a coach from his first year in college. As head coach at Osseo High School for the last 10 years, he says he had good training coming from a great team like Augsburg.

At Augsburg, he played football, basketball, and baseball. During his football career, he was the MIAC Most Valuable Player and led the Auggies to an MIAC title in 1997, the same year he received Kodak All-American Honors.

At Osseo, Lamker has surrounded himself with a coaching staff that includes several stellar Auggies and teachers. They mesh well and show up every day for the same reason—to develop contributing members of society. Their hope is that no matter where the players go, or where football takes them after high school, they will be successful. The Orioles are now ranked second in the metro area, and have started the season with a 2-0 record. Lamker says what is remarkable about the team is the people.

Six Auggies join Lamker in coaching the teams. They include his former college football coach and mentor, Jack Osberg ’62. Osberg says it is a great joy to coach with Lamker. “I’m doing what I love to do,” says Osberg, who was head football coach at Augsburg from 1991-2004, and then stayed on to work with head coach Frank Haege. He didn’t stay away from football very long before he continued to get his “fall fix” in coaching once again at Osseo High School.

“It’s real people at Augsburg. That’s what you get,” says Lamker. The Auggies joining him on the coaching staff include Andy Johnson ’04, Royce Winford ’09, Mark Joseph ’01, David Tilton ’12, and Jordan Berg ’09. For the past five seasons, they were joined by Tony Nelson ’84 and Doug Bailey ’90, who stepped down from coaching this year. Together, they have built a program that puts its priorities in order, much like they saw at Augsburg, both on and off the field. Continue reading “Coaching with Conviction: From Auggie Pride Comes a Passion for Teaching”

A-Club Golf Tournament Hosts a Record Number of Attendees

A great day of golf! Keith Stout, Augsburg Regent Curtis Sampson, former Augsburg College President Bill Frame, with Regent Norm Hagfors. Hagfors received a standing ovation at the Clair Strommen A-Club Golf Tournament dinner for his leadership in the Augsburg CSBR Campaign.
Keith Stout, Augsburg Regent Curtis Sampson, former Augsburg College President Bill Frame, with Regent Norm Hagfors. Hagfors received a standing ovation at the Clair Strommen A-Club Golf Tournament dinner for his leadership in the Augsburg CSBR Campaign.

A record number of 160 golfers enjoyed a great day of golf on June 29 as Augsburg held its 52nd annual Clair Strommen/A-Club Golf Tournament at Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater.

Auggie alumni, staff, family, and friends gathered on the course and raised more than $42,000 to support student-athletes at Augsburg.

A notable absence this year was beloved Auggie Irene Steenson, who passed away in April at the age of 102. Steenson, who received an Augsburg Athletics Distinguished Service Award in 2002, served Augsburg College for more than 40 years, and continued to be an active Augsburg supporter long into her retirement. As the proprietor of the “On the Green with Irene” fundraiser, she sat at a tee box and handed out mint candies to golfers, greeting them with her charm and smile. Any golfer who landed their tee shot on the par three green won a sleeve of golf balls. The tournament continued to honor her this year with this same contest.

2015 sponsors of the event were Gladys and Robert Strommen. Tournament sponsors included Scott Anderson, Thom Berkowitz and Butch Raymond, Bruce Brekke, Rick Colvin, Rick Ekstrand, Twin Cities Orthopedics, and Anonymous. Prize sponsors were MECA Sportswear, Lee Olson, and Butch and Linnea Raymond. Hole sponsors included ADG Promotional Products, Advanced First Aid, Inc.–Norm Okerstrom, A’viands, Anixter, BR Direct Marketing–Bart Davidson, Continuum Construction, Inc., Oliver Dahl, Gamma Group, Jane Helmke, Tom Hofflander ’57, Greg Holker, Hunt Electric Corporation, Minnesota Coaches, Dan Meyers, NRG Energy Center, Thomas Oslund and Associates, Dick Pearson, Robert Strommen, and Jane Thompson.

See more photos from the event on the Augsburg College Auggies Facebook page.