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Kill Last in Big Ten Head Coaches’ Pay

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February 20, 2013


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A list of notes including a few compiled during vacations the last two weeks.

The Gophers Jerry Kill is the lowest paid football coach in the Big Ten.  Purdue’s Danny Hope, who reportedly earned $970,000 last season, was at the bottom in annual earnings but he’s been replaced by Darrell Hazell who will be paid about $2 million.  Published reports have Kill’s annual pay at $1.2 million.

Hazell has only two years of head coaching experience while Kill has 18 including two at Minnesota.  Hazell had an overall record of 16-10 in two seasons coaching Kent State in the Mid-American Conference.  Kill was 23-16 in three seasons at Northern Illinois, another MAC member.

Dave Doeren, Kill’s successor at Northern Illinois, was paid $420,000 there but will make $1.8 million at North Carolina State, according to a February 12 article on college football coaches’ compensation in USA Today.

If the Gophers have a winning season in 2013, look for Kill’s salary to become a major news item in Minnesota.

It seemed like Fort Myers media gave the Twins secondary coverage after the Red Sox last week when spring training opened.  As one of baseball’s flagship franchises, it’s no surprise to see the Red Sox receive more publicity in the Fort Myers area where both Boston and Minnesota are preparing for the MLB season.

Fox Sports North will televise seven Twins spring training games starting with a game against the Red Sox on March 8 (6 p.m. Minneapolis time).

The Twins have 15 home games in April when the Minneapolis weather is unpredictable.  They have 16 games at Target Field after Labor Day when the club is likely to be out of playoff contention.  That’s 31 games or 38 percent of the home schedule on problematic dates.

NFL free agency begins March 12 and the world knows the Vikings covet a speedy wide receiver.  The Packers’ Greg Jennings draws most of the speculation about joining the Vikings but the Steelers’ Mike Wallace could also help.  He has averaged as much as 21 yards per catch during his four-season NFL career.

Have to wonder if Vikings’ wide receiver Percy Harvin is envious of the prime role Adrian Peterson receives in the offense, and wants to play for another team that makes him the featured player.  General manager Rick Spielman said the team doesn’t plan to trade Harvin but there are skeptics.

I haven’t seen the financial figures but with some games having announced attendance of less than 60,000 fans, gate receipts for 2012 home Vikings games had to be down from 2011 when the team always played before crowds of 62,000 or more.

Vikings executive Lester Bagley will speak to the Minnesota Men’s Breakfast group in Naples, Florida on Friday.  Attendees include prominent Minnesotans who during the winter months hear from Minnesota business and other leaders.

Ted Mondale, executive director of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, will be the speaker on Thursday, March 14 at the C.O.R.E.S. luncheon in Bloomington.  Mondale will provide an update on the new Vikings stadium.  Anyone interested in more information can email Jim Dotseth at  C.O.R.E.S. is an acronym for coaches, officials, reporters, educators and sports fans.

Prep basketball juniors Tyus Jones and Rashad Vaughn are top 15 players nationally in the class of 2014, according to  Apple Valley High School’s Jones, a point guard, is the No. 3 player while Cooper High School’s Vaughn, a shooting guard, is ranked No. 12.

Here’s another perspective on the two: each has the potential to be an All-Big Ten player.  Two Minnesota natives playing for the Gophers have never been named first team All-Big Ten in the same season.

Prep basketball authority Ken Lien e-mailed on Monday that 6-9 Osseo High School junior Ian Theisen has offers from Cal Poly, Drake, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State and Vermont.

The basketball Gophers, at Ohio State tonight, have only one Big Ten road win so far, a victory over Illinois on January 9.  The Buckeyes are 8-5 in Big Ten games and ranked No. 18 nationally.

With only five regular season games remaining, the best guess is the 6-7 Gophers will finish 7-11 or 8-10 in the final Big Ten standings.  In addition to tonight’s game in Columbus, the Gophers have home games remaining against 11-2 Indiana and 0-13 Penn State, and play at 3-10 Nebraska and 5-8 Purdue.  Minnesota was ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams in the Associated Press poll last month.

Former Gophers basketball starters Al Nuness, 67, and Jim Petersen, 51, celebrate birthdays this week.

As of Monday morning the St. Thomas men’s basketball team field goal percentage of .529 was the best in the nation for Divisions I, II and III.  The Tommies were No. 1 among more than 400 Division III teams in scoring margin, winning percentage and assists-turnovers ratio.

The Tommies, 24-1, are No. 1 in the nation, according to the poll.  St.   Thomas will host an MIAC semifinal playoff game starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.  If the Tommies win, they host the league playoff title game at 2 p.m. on Sunday.  NCAA Division III tournament pairings will be announced Monday.

The Hamline women’s basketball team lost to St. Benedict 85-79 in an MIAC opening playoff game last night.  Winners of only seven games last season, the Pipers started their schedule 0-5 but finished the year 14-12.  Senior Steph Pilgrim leads conference scorers at 16.3 points per game.

Looking for a local sports hero?  Mine is Wild goalie Josh Harding who has multiple sclerosis, and has been an advocate for years in the fight against breast cancer.

Mistaken identity: last time I visited Walmart a customer thought I was the greeter.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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