• The Gophers women’s basketball coaching vacancy should be attractive to candidates. According to the University of Minnesota’s most recent financial report from 2013, Pam Borton — who was fired Friday — was paid nearly the same salary as men’s hockey coach Don Lucia, nearly $503,000 compared to $518,000 for Lucia, even though her sport lost in the area of $1.9 million and Lucia’s hockey team earned just over $3.6 million. Borton does have two years left on her contract, but the word is there is a buyout as a part of her contract.
• Bad luck for coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers football team with former Iowa Western linebacker Cody Poock, who had earned a starting position and has been one of the big pluses of spring practice. Poock injured his knee in Saturday’s practice and is expected to have surgery, which would end his participation in spring drills. The hope is he still will be able to play some football this fall.
• Gophers basketball center Elliott Eliason sprained his ankle in practice before the team left for New York and the NIT semifinals, and there is some question if he will be able to play. … The Gophers have a record of 25-12 in NIT games, but if you include their two NIT appearances under Clem Haskins, which were subsequently vacated, the team is 31-13, including five victories in their run to the 1998 NIT championship over Penn State at Madison Square Garden.
• Owatonna coach Jeff Williams was named the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
• Lou Nanne isn’t the only grandfather who can brag about his hockey-playing grandkids. That was Connor Gaarder, the grandson of former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns, who scored the game-winning goal in North Dakota’s two-overtime 2-1 victory over Ferris State on Saturday. Gaarder had eight goals and eight assists in the regular season.
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