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Randy Johnson

Reporter | Gophers football
phone: 612-673-7664
Recent content from Randy Johnson
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Apple Valley's Steveson to wrestle for World Championship spots on senior, junior teams

Gable Steveson, a reigning world champion at the junior level, will join 12 other Minnesota-based freestyle wrestlers in Rochester. Eight will compete at the senior level, four at the junior level.
Mike Guentzel hugged goalie Nick Lehr after a game in 2015.

Guentzel out at U as Motzko brings in assistant from St. Cloud State

Mike Guentzel, 55, spent the past seven seasons as associate head coach under Don Lucia during his second stint on the Gophers men's hockey staff.
Edina offensive lineman Quinn Carroll

Edina offensive tackle Carroll commits to Notre Dame

Quinn Carroll, a four-star recruit, was heavily recruited by the Gophers and had coach P.J. Fleck's squad as one of his six finalists, but he chose the Fighting Irish.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost waved to fans while walking off the field after the Red/White football game in Lincoln, Neb., on April 21.

Nebraska 'won' spring football. But does that really mean anything?

Spring football ran hot and cold across the conference, but the temperature is way up in Nebraska.
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Future U wrestler Steveson takes fourth in U.S. Open tournament

Making his debut on the senior level, the 17-year-old senior from Apple Valley went 5-2 and lost to the top seed on a tiebreaker in the third-place match.
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Prep star Steveson wants to take down wrestling's best in Las Vegas

The Apple Valley senior, a future Gopher, will be taking on wrestlers 10 years older. But his record suggests he'll hold his own, and then some
Quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) attempted a pass during the spring game.

Quarterback buzz changes as Gophers spring football concludes

Entering spring football, sophomore transfer Vic Viramontes was the center of attention. But the focus has now shifted to a pair of freshmen in a still-unsettled quarterback situation.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan attempted a pass during Thursday's spring game.

Gophers football puts on a show before the snow in spring game

Zack Annexstad passed for 186 yards and a TD in the Gophers spring game but redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan of the Maroon team showed he's likely the front-runner to be the starter.
P.J. Fleck talked about his young Gophers team before spring practice began in early March.

Canceling spring game 'not an option' for young Gophers football

While other programs have canceled their annual scrimmage, Minnesota moved its spring game to get game-like experience. Calling off the game, P.J. Fleck said, "was not an option."
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck addressed his team after the 2017 spring game, his first as Gophers coach. The game was played on April 17 last year.

Thursday night lights: U moves spring game because of weather

Gophers officials spent Tuesday rearranging their plans, including working with the Big Ten Network, determined to get their game in. Tickets are free.
Minnesota Duluth players huddled up around goaltender Hunter Shepard before their NCAA title game against Notre Dame.

Xcel marks the spot: UMD banded together to win hockey title

Periods of growing took place throughout an up-and-down season that saw Minnesota Duluth take early lumps as freshmen manned five of the top six defenseman spots, but ended with a title in St. Paul.
Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

UMD's Blake Young played for the Battleford North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, of which Humboldt is a member
Notre Dame's Cam Morrison celebrates a goal by teammate Jake Evans, not pictured, against Michigan

UMD, Notre Dame both thriving in pressure games

Something's got to give between Minnesota Duluth and Notre Dame in this matchup of tightrope-walking hockey teams for the national championship in the NCAA Frozen Four.
Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris

Notre Dame goalie Morris put great season together

Cale Morris, who played in only one game last season, backstopped the Fighting Irish to a 4-3 overtime victory over Michigan in the second Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday night
Ohio State players stretched together during practice Wednesday afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center. The Buckeyes face Minnesota Duluth in Thursday’

For this Frozen Four, it's Minnesota Duluth vs. the Big Ten

Whose side are you on? UMD will represent an assortment of regional hockey powers vs. three teams from the Big Ten, which shook up college hockey by starting conference play five years ago.
Wally Shaver has been the Gophers hockey voice for 17 years. His dad, Al, was a longtime voice of the North Stars.

Generations of Shavers leave mark on Minnesota hockey broadcasting

Al Shaver, who called North Stars games on WCCO Radio and rode it to a Hall of Fame career, is 90 and retired. Son, Wally, and grandson, Jason, carry on the family's broadcasting heritage.
Herb Brooks let a young Bob Motzko on his staff at St. Cloud State. “And then I knew I wanted to coach,” Motzko said.

Motzko's path to U hockey coach started in 4th grade

Every step in his career has led Bob Motzko to become the Gophers hockey coach. "This was a job that you only get one kick at the can, and it was there," Motzko said.
Seth Green looked for an open receiver during last season's spring game at TCF Bank Stadium. Green will be moved to receiver for 2018.

Green shifts positions as Gophers' QB battle down to three candidates

Seth Green, a third-year sophomore and former East Ridge standout, practiced with the tight ends for the first time Tuesday. P.J. Fleck said Green could play there or at wide receiver.
In his 13 seasons as Notre Dame coach, Jeff Jackson has led the Fighting Irish to four Frozen Fours, including the past two.

Frozen Four coaches are familiar faces to Minnesotans

With three of the squads coming from the Big Ten plus Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesotans in attendance shouldn't need to do too much digging on these guys.
Bob Motzko, the new Gophers hockey coach addressed the media, family, former players and coaches, during a press conference at TCF Bank Stadium, Thurs

Lure of the U brought Motzko from St. Cloud to Gophers hockey job

Bob Motzko promised an up-tempo brand of hockey, mixed with grit — something that at times was missing from the Gophers this season.
Bob Motzko

Motzko gets Gophers hockey job, beats out three others with U ties

Gophers players were informed of Bob Motzko's hiring at team meeting Tuesday, and the former St. Cloud State coach will be formally introduced Thursday.
Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle, right, introduced Bob Motzko as the new Gophers hockey coach T

Motzko's deal with Gophers worth $2.9 million over five seasons

New Gophers hockey coach won't make as much as the old one, but he'll be nicely compensated.
Defensive tackle Steven Richardson was one of 11 former Gophers attending Wednesday’s Pro Day at the Athletes Village indoor practice facility.

Next level? Eleven Gophers show their stuff on Pro Day at the U

Defensive tackle Steven Richardson was frustrated that he didn't get an invitation to the NFL Combine. But he tried to turn it into a positive.
Casey Mittelstadt (21) was second on the Gophers in scoring this season.

Another Gophers hockey departure: Mittelstadt signing with Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres said they have signed the talented freshman from Eden Prairie to a three-year, entry-level contract Monday.
Carter Coughlin (45)

U's Coughlin shows benefit of experience during spring practices

For Carter Coughlin, spring has offered an opportunity to make an impact both on and off the football field.
Bob Motzko watches St. Cloud State practice March 22, 2018, in Sioux Falls, S.D., while preparing for the Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament.

Get to know Bob Motzko, the next Gophers hockey coach

The former St. Cloud State coach is also a former Gophers assistant. Motzko has been around Minnesota hockey for a long time.
Some of the candidates to replace Don Lucia as Gophers men's hockey coach include (clockwise from top left): Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State, Mike Hasti

Coyle says only a few have resume for U hockey job

Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle wouldn't say if the coach would have to have university ties, but he indicated the job and its demands aren't for everyone.
Ohio State forwards Tanner Laczynski (9) and Ronnie Hein celebrated the Buckeyes' 5-1 victory over Denver in the NCAA Midwest Regional final on Sunday

UMD only non-Big Ten team to crash hockey's Frozen Four

The college hockey conference that many in Minnesota love to hate will have three teams in the NCAA Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center.
UMD’s Peter Krieger flipped the puck past Air Force’s Evan Giesler in the first period of the championship game in the West Regional in Sioux Fall

Back again:UMD edges Air Force to make return trip to the Frozen Four

The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the first period and shut down the upstart Falcons.
Jeff Smith (1) consoled fellow St. Cloud State goalie David Hrenak following Friday's 4-1 loss to Air Force in the NCAA men's hockey tournament in Sio

Air Force ousts St. Cloud State, UMD edges Minnesota State Mankato in OT in NCAA hockey

Of the three Minnesota schools in Sioux Falls, only Minnesota Duluth survived the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Air Force's Trevor Stone (9) controled the puck in front of St. Cloud State's Judd Peterson on Friday.

Air Force victory marks 13th consecutive season a No. 4 has beaten a No. 1 in NCAA men's hockey tournament

Air Force also won a first-round game in last year's NCAA tournament.
Coach Bob Motzko watched his Huskies practice Thursday in Sioux Falls, site of a regional featuring three Minnesota teams.

Missing Lucia center of attention at NCAA hockey regional

Ties in the hockey community were on display at the NCAA hockey regional in Sioux Falls as coaches took turns sharing their views about former Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia.
Air Force coach Frank Serratore during last year's NCAA tournament against Harvard.

Air Force can't be overlooked in region with three Minnesota teams

The Falcons have had success as a low seed.
Gophers defenseman Ryan Lindgren, left, will leave the program and sign with the New York Rangers organization, forgoing his junior and senior seasons

Top defenseman Lindgren leaving U, Mittelstadt declines comment

More changes beyond Don Lucia's resignation are coming for the Gophers. Ryan Lindgren will turn pro and top freshman Casey Mittelstadt's future with the team is uncertain.
Don Lucia on Tuesday announced he is stepping down as Gophers men's hockey coach after 19 seasons. At right is U of M Athletics Director Mark Coyle.

Lucia steps down 'on my terms' as Gophers men's hockey coach

Don Lucia won two national titles at Minnesota, but his teams have failed to make the NCAA tournament in half of the Gophers seasons of the past decade. "It's someone else's turn now," the coach said Tuesday.
Some of the candidates to replace Don Lucia as Gophers men's hockey coach include (clockwise from top left): Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State, Mike Hasti

Who replaces Lucia? Here are some options

Perhaps the highest-profile job in college hockey, the Gophers men's hockey job will be attractive for many. Here's a list of more than a dozen potential candidates.
Don Lucia got a bath after his Gophers won their second national championship in two years on April 12, 2003 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Highs and lows: A look back at Lucia's 19 years at Minnesota

Two national titles early, disappointment late: a roller-coaster Gophers career for Don Lucia.
Gophers coach Don Lucia looked on from the bench before the start last year's NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame in Manchester, N.H. The Gophers

Frustrated Lucia faces future after U hockey misses NCAA field

After the outcomes of six games all went against the Gophers on Saturday, Gophers men's hockey coach Don Lucia said he was "as disappointed as I've ever been."
St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko.

Three Minnesota college hockey teams converge on Sioux Falls for West Regional

St. Cloud State, Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Duluth are grouped in the West Regional.
Denver forward Kohen Olischefski scored on St. Cloud on Saturday night.

Denver wins NCHC title, UND takes third but season ends

North Dakota's victory over Minnesota Duluth shuffled the PairWise rankings.
Gophers head coach Don Lucia looked on during a game last month. His team will be left out of the NCAA tournament.

Series of unfortunate events leads to Gophers hockey missing NCAA field

Victories by Boston University, Princeton, Air Force, Michigan Tech, Denver and Notre Dame on Saturday dropped Minnesota to No. 13 in the PairWise Ratings and moved Minnesota Duluth to No. 12.
St. Cloud State Huskies forward Patrick Newell celebrates scoring the game's first goal against North Dakota on Friday.

St. Cloud State nips North Dakota, will play Denver for NCHC title

North Dakota hopes dim after OT loss to Huskies.
Party like it’s ... the early 2000s: Green-clad hockey fans will return to downtown St. Paul this weekend like they did for over a decade at the tur

College hockey madness returns to downtown St. Paul this weekend

The NCHC holds its Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Center this weekend for the first time after a four-year run at Target Center.
Shane Gersich and the Fighting Hawks were in the Frozen Four in 2016, but will have to find some extra scoring punch against Omaha to keep this season

Barely .500 during season, North Dakota has big postseason hopes

The Fighting Hawks so far haven't lived up to their lofty standards of eight NCAA championships and playing "North Dakota hockey."
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks, left, will miss all of 2018 meaning Rodney Smith will carry a bulk of the load out of the backfield. But he'll ne

With Brooks out, Gophers in need of backfield complement to Smith

Shannon Brooks and fellow senior Rodney Smith have formed a solid 1-2 tandem for the better part of the past three seasons but it was announced Tuesday Brooks will miss all of 2018 in an injury.
Minnesota's Head Coach P.J. Fleck took to the field to chat with players including defensive lineman Steven Richardson during warm up before the Gophe

As spring football practices begin, Gophers face a boatload of questions

After a 5-7 record in his first year, coach P.J. Fleck and his coaching staff have plenty of questions to address with their team. Here are some of the biggest ones entering spring practice.
“I’m kind of personally excited we’re going back,” coach Don Lucia said of his team’s series at Penn State, “because it doesn’t have a v

Seething Gophers hockey eager for 'do-over' at Penn State

Embarrassed. Humiliated. Humbled. Choose your adjective, and it applied to the Gophers in a pair of one-sided losses to the Nittany Lions.

Can Gophers get their revenge? Big Ten hockey tournament preview

A new tournament format kicks off this weekend with the Gophers traveling to Penn State among the matchups.
Junior forward Peter Krieger, a transfer from Alaska Fairbanks, sat out last season but has 10 goals and 16 assists as the Bulldogs’ top-line center

UMD putting pieces together, eyeing Frozen Four repeat of 2011

If Minnesota Duluth is to make another run at the Frozen Four, which will be April 5 and 7 at Xcel Energy Center, the freshmen must on the team must keep contributing.
Gophers goalie Mat Robson made a glove save against St. Cloud State in early January. (Star Tribune photo by CARLOS GONZALEZ,

Who got Gophers hockey going again? A little-known goalie from the bench

Mat Robson has lifted the Gophers from the doldrums since taking over as starter.
Ohio State Buckeyes defenseman Gordi Myer (5) scored the go ahead goal during Saturday night's shootout against Minnesota Golden Gophers goaltender Ma

Gophers fall to Ohio State 2-1 in eighth round of the shootout

Minnesota missed a chance to secure home ice.
Minnesota State Mankato head coach Mike Hastings' team is on a seven-game winning streak and No. 5 in the PairWise rankings.

Streaking Mankato driving hard toward NCAA Frozen Four in St. Paul

The Mavericks are in line for an NCAA tournament berth, and with it they'll get a chance at redemption for the fall they took as the No. 1 seed a few years back.
Gophers head coach Don Lucia keeps an eye on the action during a game earlier this season.

Gophers hockey, sixth in Big Ten, badly needs a strong finish

Beginning Friday at Wisconsin, Minnesota has six regular-season games remaining to solidify its chances of making the NCAA tournament.
Ty Barron played linebacker and carried the ball for Minnetonka. He scored a touchdown on Nov. 3 vs. Rosemount. (Star Tribune photo by AARON LAVINSKY,

Three Minnesotans among eight more recruits to sign with Fleck's Gophers

Preferred walk-ons join the Gophers on a National Signing Day that didn't produce much buzz in Big Ten Country.
Marcus West

West in, Paup reportedly out as Gophers football coaching changes continue

Marcus West helped lead a remarkable turnaround by the Austin Peay program.
Notre Dame forward Dylan Malmquist scored an unassisted goal on Gophers goaltender Mat Robson

Top-ranked Notre Dame beats Gophers 4-1 for weekend split

A night after losing to the Gophers in overtime, the No. 1 Fighting Irish scored a pair of power-play goals, controlled play for most of the game and emerged with a 4-1 victory.
The Gophers Brent Gates Jr., center, celebrated his goal against Michigan State last Saturday with teammates Casey Mittelstadt, left, and Jack Ramsey.

With No. 1 Irish in town 'opportunity is huge' for Gophers hockey

Gophers can improve their NCAA tournament chances by beating Notre Dame, but that's quite the task against the No. 1 Irish and goalie Cale Morris.
Gophers head coach Don Lucia keeps an eye on the action during a game earlier this season.

No Big Apple sightseeing for Gophers, just desperation hockey

The slumping Gophers play at Michigan State on Thursday, then again vs. the Spartans on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The focus will be on getting points, not the bright lights and big city.
Gophers defenseman Steve Johnson reacted after Michigan forward Brendan Warren scored Friday night.

Michigan completes weekend sweep with 3-1 win over Gophers hockey

The loss was the fifth consecutive in Big Ten play for the Gophers, who are 1-8-1 in their past 10 conference games..
Eric Schierhorn, above, is the two-time Big Ten goalie of the year, but Mat Robson just shut out the nation’s top-ranked team.

The Gophers' goaltender problem: Which one to start?

The Gophers lately have been platooning goaltenders.
The Gophers’ Darian Romanko celebrated with teammates after scoring a goal in Sunday’s third period vs. St. Cloud State. (Photo by CARLOS GONZALEZ

Gophers, St. Cloud State, UND could end up in same hockey regional

With the NCAA Frozen Four returning to St. Paul in April, it's not too early to look at a potential tournament field
Gophers goalie Mat Robson (40) made a glove save in the second period Sunday. He made 34 stops in the Gophers' 2-0 victory over No. 1 St. Cloud State.

Robson's 34 saves lead Gophers to 2-0 win over No. 1 St. Cloud State

The shutout ended Minnesota's five-game losing streak against its in-state rival, a team that Gophers coach Don Lucia called the best he's seen this year.
Gophers forward Tyler Sheehy on why he will be motivated this weekend: “I haven’t beaten St. Cloud yet in my career.”

Gophers hockey hopes to end recent struggles vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State

The Gophers have a chance to reverse a downward trend against an in-state rival that has defeated Minnesota four consecutive times and five times in the past six meetings.
United States forward Casey Mittelstadt (11) and Russia forward Mikhail Maltsev (13) vie for the puck during the first period of a quarterfinal in the

Will U get star Mittelstadt back for series with No. 1 St. Cloud State?

Eden Prairie's Casey Mittelstadt, the No. 8 overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in last year's NHL draft, has been the talk of the World Junior Championships.
IMG Academy’s Zack Annexstad will enroll at Minnesota next month. He hopes to become the Gophers' starting quarterback.

QB helped convince two Florida linemen to follow him to Minnesota

Two highly recruited offensive linemen listened to Zack Annexstad's pitches and are following him from IMG Academy to become Gophers.
Eden Prairie quarterback Cole Kramer can run, but his passing efficiency perhaps is most remarkable. The junior has thrown 31 touchdown passes and zer

Fleck snags two state champs, promotes Gophers' ace recruiter

Fleck landed recruits from Eden Prairie and Owatonna for the Gophers' 2019 class, and promoted his chief recruiter to assistant head coach.
P.J. Fleck talked Wednesday about his second recruiting class at Minnesota. He fretted that four-star receiver Rashod Bateman might listen to other of

Four-star football recruit stays true to new school, signs with Gophers

Late offers couldn't persuade U four-star recruit Rashod Bateman to flip
Vic Viramontes, the top-rated dual-threat junior college QB, will join the Gophers with three years of eligibility.

Gophers' football recruiting filled positions of need

  So now that the Gophers have a class of 26 new players, who is most likely to see the field starting in late August?…
Vic Viramontes is a dual-threat junior college quarterback from Riverside (Calif.) City College.

Gophers QB candidate: 'Whatever the defense gives me, I take'

Vic Viramontes might be the front-runner to be the Gophers' starter next fall. With Demry Croft transferring and Conor Rhoda graduating, Minnesota does not have a QB who has thrown a collegiate pass.
(Riverside City College photo)
Vic Viramontes just finished his freshman season at Riverside City College, passing for 1,868 yards and 22 touchdowns a

Fleck's makeover hits high gear as QB Viramontes commits to Gophers

QB's junior college coach said the fit is right: 'I'm really happy he decided to pick Minnesota.'
Demry Croft

Quarterback Demry Croft leaving Gophers football program

Sophomore Demry Croft, who started the final six games of the season, will leave the program. A highly regard junior college quarterback, who could be a replacement, was in the Twin Cities on Sunday.
Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook

Plan to stop Badgers' Taylor fails; Hornibrook shines

The Gophers kept Jonathan Taylor in check in the first half, holding him to 41 yards on 12 carries. QB Alex Hornibrook, however, completed 13 of 17 first-half passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns
Minnesota linebacker Jonathan Celestin

Gophers seniors, who have just about seen it all, get one more shot at Wisconsin

Gophers seniors reflect on highs (a Cutrus Bowl appearance) and the lows (three coaches in three years) as a football chapter closes.
Wisconsin linebackers Ryan Connelly (43) from Eden Prairie and T.J. Edwards smothered Michigan’s Chris Evans during a Nov. 18 game. Connelly leads t

Gophers' Ciarrocca plots against rugged Badgers defense

Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca faced Wisconsin's tough defense in the Cotton Bowl a year ago. Now, they're better.
Badgers freshman Jonathan Taylor leads the Big Ten in rushing and is third nationally, averaging 150.6 yards per game.

Badgers RB Taylor among the nation's best

Freshman Jonathan Taylor, who operates behind a massive, mobile line, is the engine behind an offense that has fifth-ranked Wisconsin off to an 11-0 start.
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