"If you're going to be replaced, it's neat that they found somebody of his caliber. I did some USA Basketball stuff with him, and through Nike I've gotten to know him a little bit, not great, but good enough. And again, it just shows what a classy person he was that he'd call me and even talk to me about it."
Monson doesn't have a job yet after being fired in November. But rest assured, there are enough athletic directors around that have enough respect for Monson, and sooner or later he will get the right job.
Brad Childress describes it as a quarterback classroom, where Vikings quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger and Drew Henson are meeting every morning with quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers and then doing some throwing on the field after that. ... Clay Matchett, who has been working with the Vikings as an offensive assistant, has been named running backs coach at NCAA Division III Louisiana College.
Former Gophers wide receiver Logan Payne is getting some interest from teams in the NFL, with a scheduled tryout at Seattle on April 10 and calls from the Vikings, Cleveland and the New York Jets, who might invite him to tryouts.
The Nevada men's basketball team, which was ranked most of the season and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, could appear on the Gophers home schedule next season. Other nonconference possibilities at Williams Arena include Cornell, where former Eden Prairie athlete Ryan Wittman -- the son of Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman -- is playing, or Brown, where Wayzata's Chris Taylor, son of former Gopher Corky Taylor, will play.
Former Gophers assistant coach Bob Battisti is in his 21st year as a coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State, where the Rangers advanced to the Elite Eight of the NAIA national tournament before losing to Faulkner (Ala.) 76-59 Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. Northwestern Oklahoma State finished the season 22-12.
Joey Hiben, a 6-4, 248-pounder from Waconia, spent his freshman year on the Notre Dame football team after being given a scholarship as a tight end. But he left the Irish and now is enrolled at Minnesota, where he is trying to develop as a shot putter for the Gophers track team. Hiben threw the shot put some in high school. Apparently, he doesn't have any interest in being a candidate for the Gophers football team. "He's new to the game, so it's going to take a while to learn," Gophers coach Phil Lundin said.
Jake Deitchler, a junior 145-pound wrestler and two-time state champion from Anoka, has accepted a scholarship offer from the Gophers.
Aaron Ness, a sophomore defenseman on Class 2A champion Roseau boys' hockey team, has verbally committed to the Gophers and will join the team in 2009.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. firstname.lastname@example.org