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Dinkytown--New Cradle of Coaches???

Five! Five Gopher alums are now head coaches in the four major sports!

Paul Molitor is the 13th Manager of the Minnesota Twins
Paul Molitor is the 13th Manager of the Minnesota Twins

With the hiring of Gopher Alum and Minnesota baseball legend Paul Molitor as the 13th manager of the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, the University of Minnesota now holds a rare title.

Its true...the Gophers are the only University of have at least one alum as a head coach in each of the four major sports.  Paul Molitor now manages the Minnesota Twins, Flip Saunders coaches the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin McHale coaches the Houston Rockets, Marc Trestman coaches the Chicago Bears, and Todd Richards coaches the Columbus Blue Jackets. In fact, this is so rare that only one other school has coaches in three of the four major sports (California)

While all of these former Gophers have had varied success in previous coaching spots except for Molitor, they also have had different levels of success as players in college at the U and in the professional ranks.

Molitor batted .350 in his four seasons at Minnesota and set then school records in runs, triples, hits, home runs, total bases, RBIs, and stolen bases.  Molitor was a part of the last Minnesota team to advance to the College World Series in 1977 in his senior season.  He was the third overall selection in that season's MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Flip Saunders played for the Gophers from 1974-1977 and teamed with Kevin McHale to led the Gophers to a school record 24-3 record in 1976-77.  He started 101 of 103 career games, and ranks seventh in career assists and second in career free throw percentage.

Kevin McHale played for the Gophers from 1976 through 1980.  He is the Gophers fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,704 points and is the Gophers career leader in blocks.  His #44 was retired in 1993, and in 1995 to coincide with the Gophers 100th anniversary of playing basketball, he was named the best Minnesota Player of All-Time.  McHale was drafted #3 in the 1980 NBA Draft by Boston where he would go on to have a Basketball Hall of Fame Career.

Marc Trestman played sparingly in three seasons as a Gophers backup quarterback from 1974 through 1977.  He would back up another former Gopher who went on to quite a successful coaching career in Tony Dungy.  Trestman has made himself known in his coaching career, having success in college football, the NFL and most notably the CFL where he won two Grey Cups.

Todd Richards played for the Gopher Hockey team from 1985 through 1989.  He is the highest scoring defenseman in Gopher history with 30 goals and 128 assists in four seasons.  His 128 assists is the most by a defenseman in school history.  He was a second-round draft choice and the 33rd player taken overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.  He only tallied eight career games in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers.

So it proves that you don't need to have a successful professional career to be a good professional coach.  The Gophers should be proud of how far their players have come.  Congrats to Paul, and good luck to the rest of the Gophers who are in the middle of their seasons!