The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently interviewed former Augsburg College basketball player and retired NBA star Devean George ’99 about the upcoming retirement of legendary Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. George, who retired in 2011, played his first seven seasons in the NBA alongside Bryant.
George said that he knows Bryant is ready to retire from professional sports because he has seen familiar signs from his own retirement. “What I’ve seen him go through this year, you can see the flame is not there and he knows it’s time,” he said. “It’s the old cliché: Father Time, no one can beat it. There comes a time where no one wins. Basketball is a young man’s sport. It’s that simple.”
Read George: When it’s time, it’s time on the Star Tribune site.
The Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation recently announced that it will award Missy Strauch, head athletic trainer at Augsburg College, with the Fred Zamberletti Award. The award, named after the famed Minnesota Vikings athletic trainer, will be given in recognition of Strauch’s decades of service across all levels of Minnesota athletics.
Strauch will receive the award at the NFF’s annual Minnesota Football Honors event on April 17.
Read the announcement on the NFF Minnesota site.
KSTP television recently reported on the Augsburg College men’s hockey team’s win in a tense, triple overtime match against St. John’s University on March 5 to clinch the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. The game was the third longest in NCAA Division III history, lasting 102:53.
Senior Mack Ohnsted ’16 scored the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match’s third overtime period; he was assisted by Eli May ’18. The Auggies twice rallied from two-goal deficits to bring the game into overtime.
Watch and read Augsburg Wins MIAC Hockey Championship Over St. John’s In 3OT Thriller on the KSTP site.
Minneapolis-St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP recently aired a story on its Eyewitness News program about the ways in which Augsburg College’s Women’s Basketball team is mourning and honoring beloved coach Bill McKee, who passed away in August. The segment shares that the team has been remembering Coach McKee with patches on their jerseys, bracelets, and moments of silence before each game.
The segment features statements from Ted Riverso, the team’s new head coach and friend of McKee, and Allison McKee ’16, who is one of the team’s captains and the late coach’s daughter.
“It’s important to me because I want to keep him as much a part of this season as I can,” she said. “He was the most important person in my life.”
The Star Tribune recently published an article highlighting ice skating coach Diane Ness and her son, former Augsburg hockey player Andy Ness ’01, for their involvement with the Minnesota Wild. The article states that Diane and her company ProEdge Power were recently hired by the Wild as consultants, though some of the players have been training privately with the Nesses for years. The article quotes the Wild’s Chris Porter as saying, “They’re both incredible.”
The article states that Andy grew up surrounded by skating and hockey. “My babysitter growing up was the rink,” he said in the article. That background has paid off. Porter is quoted saying that Diane often tells the players to “‘Watch Andy,’ because he’s such a phenomenal skater.” Now, Andy spends the NHL season working with injured Wild players until they regain enough strength to practice and play with the team.
Read “Skating coaches Diane, Andy Ness push Wild, NHL stars to improve” on the Star Tribune website.
Five days a week, Minneapolis community members convene at Bethany Lutheran Church to dine on gourmet fare prepared as part of the Soup for You Cafe — a program recognized by the Star Tribune for its ability to “redefine the soup kitchen.”
Augsburg College alumnus, Chaplain to Student Athletes, and linebacker coach Rev. Mike Matson ’06 is the pastor at Bethany Lutheran and the driver behind this community meal. Supported by volunteers and one talented chef, Soup for You is a chance for people of varying backgrounds to come together in an environment that focuses on dignity. In the article “Church program offers hot soup, warm welcome,” Matson underscored that the program focuses on bringing people together.
“Our model is mutuality, and what better way is there to show mutuality than to gather at the same table together?” he said.
Augsburg College alumnus Lute Olson ’56, a member of several halls of fame for his achievements in basketball coaching, was featured by the Arizona Daily Star in recognition of his 80th birthday. Olson was an Augsburg student from 1952-56, playing three sports (football, basketball, baseball), and earning a double major in history and physical education.
Now retired, Olson served most recently as head coach at the University of Arizona for 25 years. View photos on the Arizona Daily Star website that range from Olson’s days as an Auggie to a NCAA Championship coaching victory.
Augsburg alumnus and former Auggie football player Scott Cooper ’13 was a special guest at the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s “You Can Play” video unveiling event. “You Can Play” is a movement where athletic organizations pledge to provide a safe, respectful experience to all student athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation. According to Northland News Center, nearly 200 people heard Cooper describe his positive experience as an openly gay athlete at Augsburg College.
Augsburg officially named its main competition rink in honor of Ed Saugestad ’59, the coach who led the Auggies to national prominence in men’s ice hockey during his storied career. At the Oct. 15 ceremony, Auggies were able to see the changes that took place in the arena in preparation for the dedication.
One noticeable change was the addition of three murals depicting the Saugestad legacy as well as the history of men’s and women’s hockey at Augsburg College. Other graphics have been added to the rink including an “Auggie Pride” sign to mark the student seating section.
A special thanks to Stephen Geffre, Augsburg’s staff photographer, who spent many hours compiling the graphics for the murals.
To read more about Saugestad, go to the Augsburg Athletics page.