Former Gophers women’s basketball coach Pam Borton is staying in Minnesota, for now, even as her partner moves to Pennsylvania for a new job.

In February Penn State announced that Lynn Holleran had been appointed senior associate athletic director for administration. A Pennsylvania native, Holleran was director of the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Academic Center for Student-Athletes.

“My partner is leaving, I’m staying. I may get an apartment, [but] have enough friends who are out of town for the winter” at whose residences she could stay. That’s what Borton said Monday when I arrived on her doorstep to confirm a tip that there was a “for sale” sign on her property. The eponymous head of Pam Borton Partners, which provides consulting and executive coaching worldwide, said, “My business is blowing up.” That’s been an unexpected surprise as Borton had planned to take off a year and slowly get back to work.

Borton said she expects they will settle into a routine where she spends two weeks here and two weeks in Pennsylvania, which is right next door to her native Ohio.

Our chat was brief because Borton was on a conference call when I rang the doorbell.

I had forgotten Borton had not returned my call until Sunday, when an e-mail from reader Jill asked if Borton was moving and supplied me the link to a Coldwell Banker Burnet real estate listing.

And, yes, I know that Borton and Holleran are closing in on their year anniversary of tying the knot after 16 years together, but she called Holleran her “partner,” so that’s the terminology I’m using.

 

These guys are smoooooth

It was Strib hockey reporter Michael Russo’s turn to be the foil for KFAN’s mischievous Paul Allen.

I was at St. Paul’s Xcel Center last week interviewing Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek for a video that will run Sunday, when he performs with “Stars on Ice.” I noticed P.A. and his producer, Eric Nordquist, Twitter’s @ericnordoKFAN, in the box near the ice, broadcasting “Vox in the Box,” while the Wild practiced. P.A. tells me Coach Mike Yeo believes these live broadcasts are the NHL team’s good luck charm and, whaddaya know, they won.

When Russo arrived to make an appearance on Allen’s show, P.A. pulled a personal space-invading prank that startled Mike, as you will see on my startribune.com/video.

I slipped up and shook Russo’s hand (which may explain this catch in my chest), and discovered the hockey writer has hands soft as a baby’s bottom. “Feel mine, feel mine,” said Allen. His are soft as a KFANNY, too.

Neither of these guys are exactly laborers.

 

Photog sees life more clearly

KARE 11 photog Matt Passolt still gets choked up talking about how close he was to a massive heart attack in July.

Passolt, who returned to work in November, said he was having minor chest pains. “People kept getting after me and I said, ‘I will, I will’ [get it checked].” But these pains were not what took him to the doctor; he went in because of itchy skin.

“I kind of went in for that because I thought I had a wood tick bite and I said, ‘Hey, I’m having chest pains,’ ” in his low-key style. “They did an EKG which was all off and they said, You’re having a heart attack; over to Methodist right now. I was on my way to Methodist Hospital, in an ambulance Code 3. I had to get my aortic valve replaced because the doctor said another week and there would have been a different outcome.”

Passolt said he found out his heart was not ordinary. “The normal aortic valve is shaped like a Mercedes-Benz emblem. Not mine. Mine was a two holer, that’s the way they explained it to me,” he laughed. “They insist I was born with it. I think my brothers all have [been checked out, including Jeff Passolt, the Fox 9 anchor]. My parents took care of me and some friends took care of me. It’s really eye-opening. I thank everybody and I’m glad to be alive. I urge people to go get checked even if you have the slightest pain.

“I appreciate everybody thinking and praying and caring about me,” he said. “I’m just glad to be here.”

 

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.