Mariucci Arena has been renamed to 3M Arena at Mariucci, the University announced Monday. 3M’s sponsorship gives a 14 year, $11.2 million sponsorship to the athletics program on top of the name change. “It’s been well received,” said Athletics Director Mark Coyle at a Monday press conference.
Chuck Merzbacher, the former women’s tennis coach for the Gophers, accepted a job as the head coach of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga men’s tennis program. Merzbacher was introduced as Chattanooga's new coach on Thursday. He had announced his retirement on April 11 and resigned as the head coach of the Gophers women's tennis team at the end of the 2017 season.
Former Gophers linebacker Damien Wilson was arrested Tuesday in Frisco, Texas with two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a Frisco City Jail spokesperson said Wednesday. Wilson was arrested in the parking lot of Toyota Stadium on Tuesday. He was released after posting a $10,000 bail for each charge for a total of $20,000, according to Frisco Police Department Officer Ryan Chandler. Wilson was a fourth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after leading the Gophers in tackles and tackles for loss his senior year.
Casey O’Brien’s life changed forever during his freshman year of football at Cretin-Derham Hall. In 2013, O’Brien was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that prevented him from finishing the season. This year, O’Brien reached a goal he set for himself when he was younger — earning a spot on the Gophers football team. “I always wanted to play for the hometown school,” O’Brien said.
Six Minnesota athletes went to Eugene, Oregon to compete in the NCAA Track and Field Championships on June 8 and all left with All-American honors. Madeline Strandemo, Taylor Wiebke, Emma Spagnola, Emerald Egwim, Angie Guenther and Temi Ogunrinde earned All-American accolades in the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
The Gophers wrapped up their season this week in Eugene, Oregon as seniors Nate Roese, Luca Wieland, Mitch Hechsel and sophomore Obsa Ali competed in their final events of the year at the NCAA Championships. Wieland, competing in the decathlon, fell just short of the perfect ending in his final year with the Gophers. Wieland — who led all decathletes through the first day — finished third overall with a final score of 8,146, the second highest in school history.
Minnesota will play Illinois in its Homecoming game on Oct. 21, at 2:30 or 3 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. Head coach P.J. Fleck — entering his first season with the team — will be coaching in his first Homecoming game at Minnesota. It is the school’s 97th Homecoming game.
When the 64 teams for the NCAA tournament were announced on Monday, the Gophers did not hear their name called. Minnesota (36-21, 15-8 Big Ten) missed the cut for the postseason tournament and its season will come to an end. The Gophers were not expected to make the tournament after finishing 67th in RPI.
News of a sexual harassment investigation in the University of Minnesota’s athletics department has led to an inquiry of the school’s Board of Regents. Regents held an emergency meeting Thursday after KSTP published a report that Gophers’ top fundraiser, Assistant Athletics Director Randy Handel, allegedly sexually harassed a coworker.
Gopher men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino received a contract extension through the 2022 season on Wednesday. “I've seen accountability, commitment and focus from every student-athlete and member of the men's basketball staff, led by Coach Pitino,” Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in a statement.