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Chip Scoggins

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4484

Chip Scoggins is a sports columnist and enterprise writer for the Star Tribune. He previously covered the Vikings, Gophers football, Wild, Wolves and high school sports in nearly 19 years at the paper.


Scoggins was born in Missouri but moved to Tennessee when he was only a few months old and lived there until he was 20. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a journalism degree. He worked at newspapers in Texas, Connecticut, North Carolina and Chicago before joining the Star Tribune in 2000.
Recent content from Chip Scoggins
“Obviously our backs are to the wall,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said after losing to the Lions.

These five painful decisions by Mike Zimmer led to one brutal loss

Football Across Minnesota: How did the Vikings lose to the winless Lions? Let's count the ways. But while the Vikings were faceplanting on the road, an important game was being played in their home.
St. Thomas men’s basketball coach Johnny Tauer has guided his team to a 3-4 start against fellow Division I teams.

Scoggins: St. Thomas men's hoops look the part in move to D-I

After jumping from Division III, the Tommies are holding their own against nonconference Division I teams with a tougher schedule ahead in the Summit League.
The next offensive coordinator for Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, right, should be tasked with finding a better run/pass balance and diagramming pass conce

Scoggins: Fleck (and I) have seen enough. U's offense must change.

Mike Sanford Jr. had to go. And as P.J. Fleck now shops for a new offensive coordinator, he also needs to reexamine his own philosophy. Tanner Morgan deserves that.
Lakeville South quarterback Camden Dean scored a touchdown against Maple Grove in the Class 6A championship game Friday.

'They can't stop it': How old-school run games led to 3 state titles

Football Across Minnesota: Lakeville South, Hutchinson and Dassel-Cokato ran, ran and ran some more on their way to state titles. And get ready, Gophers fans, for roster comings and goings.
Gophers running back Mar’Keise Irving dodged a tackle by Wisconsin cornerback Max Lofy.

Scoggins: Title shot gone, Fleck still had Gophers ready to beat Badgers

Emotionally, mentally, physically, Minnesota was ready to retake the Axe. The Gophers took the fight to their biggest rivals in a performance that put their best version on display.
Tanner Morgan started against Wisconsin as a redshirt freshmen in 2018 and led the Gophers to a win at Camp Randall Stadium.

Scoggins: Morgan tries to cap difficult senior season with second swing of the Axe

Tanner Morgan helped the Gophers defeat Wisconsin as a freshman but has shouldered the disappointment of losing back-to-back games to the Badgers.
Two Minnesota quarterbacks criticized often this fall for uneven play: Tanner Morgan, left, of the Gophers, and Kirk Cousins of the Vikings.

How 'Why did they call that play?!' became Minnesota's most common question

Football Across Minnesota: Play-calling has been the dominant topic for Gophers and Vikings fans this fall. Plus: Mankato West's undefeated, unbelievable season; St. John's preps for a playoff rivalry; and a St. Thomas senior who listened to his parents.
Tanner Morgan earned his 25th career victory as a Gophers starting quarterback Saturday, a program record.

Scoggins: Gophers take advantage of the gift of playing lowly Hoosiers

The offense reasserted itself in the wake of back-to-back losses that cost the team control of its own destiny to win the Big Ten West.
Gophers linebacker Jack Gibbens (47) tackled Maryland running back Challen Faamatau (29) on Oct. 23 at Huntington Bank Stadium.

Scoggins: How the mysterious transfer portal worked 'perfectly' for U linebacker Gibbens

What does it feel like to enter your name into the NCAA transfer portal? How does it work? Chip Scoggins spoke with standout linebacker Jack Gibbens about his experience.
Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson went up for a long pass from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter Sunday vs. the Chargers.

Scoggins: Secret? No, it's common sense. Throw Jefferson the dang ball

Mike Zimmer and Klint Kubiak sounded like it was a big deal to acknowledge the need to get Justin Jefferson more involved in the offense, an admission that caused armchair coordinators to mutter, "Well, duh."
Winona State coach Tom Sawyer, pictured with Will Clausen, is retiring.

Next chapter: A longtime college coach retires to chase new dreams

Football Across Minnesota: Tom Sawyer arrived at Winona State as a linebacker in the late 1970s and became a fixture as the school's football coach and good guy around town. There's no doubt he'll keep that second role.
Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg dragged down Gophers running back Ky Thomas during the second half Saturday.

Scoggins: Gophers burned by Fleck's approach, Morgan's misfires

By settling for field goals and declining to take risks Saturday in Iowa City, Minnesota once again watched the Hawkeyes parade Floyd of Rosedale.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck argued with an official during Minnesota’s 23-19 loss at Iowa on Nov. 16, 2019.

Scoggins: Verdict on Gophers season again comes down to beating Iowa, Wisconsin

P.J. Fleck is 0-4 against Iowa and 1-3 against Wisconsin, but the Big Ten West has never been more winnable for the Gophers than it is right now.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 202

Scoggins: Cook case reeks of media manipulation and rush to judgement

We don't know what happened in the 2020 domestic violence incident. We do know that Tuesday night showed clearly the power and pitfalls of social media.
Michael Floyd is coaching this fall, looking to see if this is his next stage of life.

Back to school: Two ex-Vikings try entry-level coaching as career move

Football Across Minnesota: Michael Floyd and Mike Harris want to know: Is coaching my next big thing? They're getting an education in entry-level jobs at two St. Paul colleges.
Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste

Bethel quarterback helps others 60 hours a week — and also leads an elite team

Football Across Minnesota: Jaran Roste is one of the MIAC's top QBs. But what really sets him apart is the time he spends with a Bethel University program mentoring students with learning disabilities.
The Vikings’ Dalvin Cook looked for running room in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys on Sunday. The Minnesota offense looked discombobulated i

Scoggins: Offense reverts to old, bad habits during inexcusable defeat

The Vikings embarrassed themselves in a prime-time undoing Sunday night that cranks the heat up on Zimmer's job status by a considerable degree.
Chip Scoggins, center, once took a cooking class with Crystal Boudreau, the wife of former Wild coach Bruce Boudreau.

Scoggins: Birthday milestone — 50! — is good time for reflection and AARP wish list

When you wake up and realize you've spent half your life covering sports in Minnesota.
Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson celebrated his sack of Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold on Oct. 17. The defensive challenges grow this Sunda

Scoggins: Time for the Vikings' investments in defense to pay off

A dose of impending reality greeted the Vikings upon returning to work this week: Dak Prescott. Lamar Jackson. Justin Herbert. Aaron Rodgers.
Eli Thomas ranks second on the Mavericks with 32 tackles this season.

Three surgeries and stroke can't stop 25-year-old Mankato linebacker

Football Across Minnesota: Eli Thomas couldn't walk away from football. Not until he gave himself one last chance to put on pads and return to the field, even if the whole idea sounded ludicrous.
Gophers running back Bryce Williams scores a rushing touchdown during the third quarter

Scoggins: Gophers' O-line and D-line both overpower Terrapins

When a team dominates in the trenches, it usually wins. A simple formula P.J. Fleck's team followed.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck ran onto the field at Kinnick Stadium for warmups before his team suffered its first loss of the 2019 season, on Nov. 16.

Scoggins: For Gophers, Big Ten West is suddenly up for grabs

Iowa's loss last week to Purdue opened a lane for the Gophers and others in a race that has just begun.
Why did Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards work so hard on his shooting in the offseason? To create more room for him to swoop down the lane and dun

Scoggins: The 'Ant Show' was electric in Wolves season-opening victory

Anthony Edwards put on a show in the opener. His 21 first-half points turned the arena into a house party, not a normal vibe for Target Center. Edwards forces you to pay attention.
Lakeville South lined up for the national anthem before a game at Shakopee High School on Oct. 14.

A week behind the scenes with the state's best prep football team

Football Across Minnesota: Chip Scoggins was granted access to Minnesota's No. 1 high school football team during a week where adversity found them.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins celebrates Sunday’s win with Nate Stanley.

Scoggins: Vikings claim weirdest win in confounding season

The Vikings put up 571 yards and 34 points against a Carolina team that could do nothing offensively for most of the game and still needed overtime.
Kirk Cousins celebrated after throwing a touchdown to Alexander Mattison in the second quarter last Sunday.

Scoggins: Hope for Zimmer, Kubiak to bring creativity and guts to Carolina

Mike Zimmer and Klint Kubiak should have thrown the game plan from last week into a bonfire. The Vikings need to rely more on their two excellent wideouts and $33 million quarterback.
At Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub in St. Paul, the owner and former North Stars defenseman stood next to a picture of him scoring an unlikely penalty-sh

Scoggins: 50 years later, 'totally ridiculous' goal rekindles memories

A bizarre and comical penalty shot gave North Stars defenseman and future pub owner Tom Reid, who rarely scored, a moment of glory against Montreal's Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden.
KiJuan Ware wants to make Macalester a winner, and much more.

After 11 jobs in 10 states, Macalester's Ware set to 'make this thing go'

Football Across Minnesota: A Black coach is trying to put down roots, finally, in St. Paul. A quarterback's seven-season roller-coaster ride ended too soon. Vikings play-call frustration, wishing Trey Potts well, what to watch this weekend and more.
Thinking about Kirill Kaprizov and Karl-Anthony Towns in early October? Yep, and that’s a good sign for colder months to come.

Scoggins: Wild, Wolves intrigue so strong it's crashing football's party

This could be a really fun winter in Minnesota if the current optimism about the Wild and Wolves turns into real results.
Minnesota State Mankato coach Todd Hoffner

Exclusive access inside the film room with a Minnesota football power

Football Across Minnesota: At Minnesota State, every detail matters. By the time players see the film Sunday evening, head coach Todd Hoffner has watched it three times. Plus, a White Bear Lake player brings back the dropkick.
Purdue tight end Paul Piferi runs the ball against Minnesota linebacker Jack Gibbens during the first quarter

Scoggins: Gophers defense excelled at the bottom line — giving up only 13 points

Purdue on Saturday ran 86 plays against the Gophers, but Minnesota came up with the critical stops in a much-needed Big Ten win.
Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan hands off to running back Bryce Williams during the first half of an NCAA college football game against against Mi

Scoggins: Gophers' reluctance to embrace passing game remains baffling

Once a prolific college passer, Tanner Morgan has been reduced to a hand-off specialist. The Bowling Green debacle last week was jarring.
Kevin Williams at home in Little Rock, Ark., in July 2010.

Scoggins: Ring of Honor choice Williams led with All-Pro actions

Here are a few things you might not have known about Kevin Williams, one of the best defensive linemen in Vikings history, including that he threw up during every game.
Larry Fitzgerald gets on the golf course more now, as he did back in 2016 at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove.

On path to Hall of Fame, Larry Fitzgerald takes back his Sundays

Football Across Minnesota: One of the best ever from Minnesota is done playing — for now. Off the field, he's busier than ever. Also, Perham High hits a spectacular 'Money' shot to beat a rival and a Rose Bowl promise 63 years and counting.
Kirk Cousins reacted after throwing a touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Scoggins: Confident, Cousins shows some swag — even throwing a shoe

The Vikings quarterback pushed all the right buttons against Seattle and continued to leave the impression that something new is clicking this season.
Under coach P.J. Fleck, the Gophers are 0-17 when trailing at halftime.

Scoggins: Gophers' loss to Bowling Green inexcusable embarrassment

P.J. Fleck wonders why a large metropolis looks down at his program with such negativity and skepticism. Saturday's game was Exhibit A.
Mike Zimmer loves coaching defensive backs, such as safety Xavier Woods, and he needs to be at his best with this group now.

Scoggins: Vikings coverage problems getting worse not better despite overhaul

Opposing quarterbacks are completing nearly 80% of their passes after two games, and the road doesn't get any easier.
Gophers tight end Ko Kieft on his ferocity as a blocker: “I was such a nice kid growing up. I still like to think that I’m a nice guy. But there c

Scoggins: Gophers tight end Kieft takes delight in being a 'mauler'

Ko Kieft, in his sixth season with the Gophers, has caught a grand total of six passes in his career. But the team's coaches say he averages one knockdown block every six plays.
Karl-Anthony Towns appeared at the press conference to introduce Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations in 2019.

Scoggins: How much more franchise dysfunction can Towns take?

Like everyone else, star center Karl-Anthony Towns was confused by a firing Wednesday that is certainly more about behind the scenes than basketball.
The party started rocking right on the field after Red Wing snapped its 41-game losing streak Friday night.

Incredible Minnesota football streaks: losing, winning, saving lives

Football Across Minnesota: Resilience comes in many forms as losing and winning streaks come to an end in high school football. Another remarkable streak this fall: lives being saved on the sidelines.
Gable Steveson can be a Gopher and a WWE wrestler, a college athlete and a well-paid entertainer, thanks to NCAA name, image and likeness changes.

Scoggins: Minnesotans take lead in era of profiting college athletes

Suni Lee, Paige Bueckers, Gable Steveson: They were not long ago rising-star teenage athletes in Minnesota, and now they're cashing in — legally.
Andy Thomsen was one of the best athletes to play at Grand Rapids High.

Devastating injury in northern Minnesota puts football angst in perspective

Andy Thomsen had one final play in a preseason scrimmage last month, and was tackled in what his coach thought was a routine play. His story is the subject of Chip Scoggins' Football Across Minnesota column, a weekly tour of the sport that brings out many emotions in its debut.
There was a lot of this Saturday: Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan ran the ball vs. Miami (Ohio). Morgan passed for 0 yards in the second half.

Scoggins: Gophers' one-dimensional offense not a sustainable formula

The Gophers did not complete a pass in the second half — a blueprint that won't work once the Big Ten schedule resumes.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan should be trusted to throw more often.

Scoggins: Where should Gophers' offensive recalibration start? Trust Morgan

Mohamed Ibrahim's injury is devastating, but instead of handing off to his backups more often the Gophers should lean on their experienced quarterback.
Star running back Dalvin Cook spent all three preseason games on the sidelines.

Scoggins: A brutal preseason, but it's too early for gloom and doom

There was so much we didn't see during the brutal preseason that it's too early to draw too many conclusions. So much is still unknown.
Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (92) was congratulated by Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman after he recovered a fumble in the third quarter.

Scoggins: Gophers show spark but can't match Ohio State's engine

Speed, talent and explosiveness all separated the two teams in the season opener. It was the difference between a race car and a bulldozer.
P.J. Fleck and these 2021 Gophers have been together for a long time. They need to cash in that experience for a division title, Chip Scoggins writes.

Scoggins: OMG (Old Men Gophers) must use experience, win Big Ten West

Yes, playing Ohio State in the opener is a big game. But let's focus on the big picture: P.J. Fleck's football program has a unique opportunity to take the next step.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren chose peace instead of a power grab.

Scoggins: Clumsy college 'alliance' mostly about money while chaos lurks in background

Commissioner Kevin Warren guided the Big Ten toward a cooperative agreement with the Pac-12 and ACC. But let's not pretend college football's power struggle is over.
Alabama coach Nick Saban left the field after beating Ohio State for last season’s national title.

Scoggins: I favored the four-team college football playoff. Here's why I was wrong

A 12-team field would feature the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams. Let's see how that would have looked last season.
Blaise Andries (is one of the keys to the Gophers offensive line.

Scoggins: Any Gophers success this season begins with big boys up front

Every team tries hard to establish an identity, and there is no mystery in what the 2021 Gophers football team wants to be known for.
Massive tackle Daniel Faalele (78) is back with the Gophers after sitting out last season.

Gophers offensive line at a glance

The Gophers offensive line has six players who have made regular starts, a group that has an average size of 6-foot-5 and 336 pounds.
Three of the winningest coaches in Minnesota football history are back for another season. From left to right: Mike Grant, Eden Prairie; Dwight Lundee

Scoggins: Three Minnesota football giants happily take to sidelines again

Dwight Lundeen of Becker, Mike Grant of Eden Prairie and Merrill Pavlovich of Delano have combined for more than 1,000 coaching victories, and all three still love their job.
Small cardboard pull-tabs, like these that contribute funds to White Bear Lake Hockey, in bars and restaurants are big business in Minnesota.

Why does gambling play such a big role in Minnesota youth sports?

Do you play pull-tabs at your favorite bar? There's a decent chance that game is being operated by a community sports entity. Here's the bond between lawful gambling and youth sports.
Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond played behind the backup offensive line in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Broncos.

Scoggins: Mond's rocky debut with Vikings is part of the roller-coaster ride

Rookie quarterback Kellen Mond, who missed 10 days of practice time because of COVID, should not be judged on his ragged first preseason game against the Broncos.
Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond played behind the backup offensive line Saturday.

Scoggins: After Denver loss, we still have same old offensive line questions

Those who anticipated the two rookie linemen starting in the season opener were probably being naïve, even if the duo has a low bar to clear to be seen as upgrades.
Kirill Kaprizov was the NHL’s top rookie this past season.

Scoggins: Curb your anxiety. Expect Kaprizov and the Wild to reach a deal

The situation is complicated, for sure, but the threat that Kirill Kaprizov will return to Russia to play hockey feels more like a bluff than a realistic option.
Micah Dew-Treadway was one of several athletes from Minnesota in June 2020 volunteering at the “Change Starts with Me” food and household supply d

Scoggins: 7 years of college football? Gophers' Dew-Treadway doing it

Gophers nose tackle Micah Dew-Treadway has been there, done that and he's grateful for yet another season after the disappointment of 2020.
Mike Zimmer was not pleased being without three quarterbacks at training camp on Monday.

Scoggins: With so much at stake, Zimmer has every right to be angry

With his most important player, quarterback Kirk Cousins, in COVID protocol lockdown, Mike Zimmer let his frustrations with unvaccinated players be known Monday.
:Newly acquired Austin Martin is regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball, but that is no guarantee that he will develop into a star for the T

Scoggins: Twins back to banking on hope. Don't forget why

Receiving two top-level prospects in exchange for pitcher Jose Berrios does not feel like something to be celebrating for this team.
Minnesota Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) warmed up before Wednesday's game. 

]   Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com 

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Scoggins: Knowing his purpose, QB Morgan ready to lead Gophers after father's death

Ted Morgan was so proud of his son — and it wasn't just because Tanner Morgan overcame long odds to become a standout Big Ten quarterback.
Wild owner Craig Leipold, left, and General Manager Bill Guerin have shown a willingness to make bold, risky moves in trying to build a contender.

Scoggins: Wild's big mistake with Parise and Suter? There wasn't one

Wild owner Craig Leipold did what fans should hope pro sports owners do: invest, roll the dice and try to win the big one.
Signing Jose Berrios to a long-term extension needs to be on the front office’s to-do list.

Scoggins: If current Twins management fails, it'll be because of pitching

The Twins have nose-dived from fourth in team ERA last season to 27th so far this season. Their pitching woes and self-inflicted mistakes were highlighted again this week.
Athletic director Phil Esten has answered the phone and done roughly 999 other things during the school’s big jump to Division I.

Scoggins: Inside the incredible leap happening in St. Thomas sports

Recruiting, coaching staff, facilities, ticketing, sports medicine — you name it, St. Thomas is changing it. The Tommies are officially Division I now.
Twins third baseman Luis Arraez called time at second base on Wednesday.

Scoggins: Stuck. How else to describe these Twins?

A major rebuild would be tough sell to the Twins' fanbase, so keep your expectations at the trade deadline modest.
Joel Bauman wrestled for the Gophers in 2010 — here going against teammate Scott Schiller. Three years later, he quit the team when the NCAA told hi

Scoggins: Score one for the NCAA resisters with Supreme Court's unanimous decision

The U.S. Supreme Court essentially told the NCAA to shove it this past week, too, voting 9-0 against the governing body in an antitrust case that will change the way college sports operate.
Teammates and Minnesota United fans celebrated with Franco Fragapane (7) after he scored in the first half.

Scoggins: Sports as they should be. Full house lights the night at Allianz Field

Take a can of soda, shake it for 15 seconds and then open it. That's how the stadium looked when Minnesota United scored two early goals in Wednesday night's victory.
Aaron Pike of Park Rapids already is a two-time veteran of both the Summer and Winter Paralympics.

Scoggins: Minnesotan Aaron Pike is a competitor for all seasons

Summer and winter, the Park Rapids native vies for spots on U.S. Paralympic Teams. His calendar looks like a slacker's worst nightmare.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches his players during the first day of minicamp.

Scoggins: Zimmer takes stick of dynamite to defense after dreadful 2020

Adding 11 defensive free agents gave coach Mike Zimmer everything he wanted to reconstruct the Vikings defense, including the return of Danielle Hunter.
Mitch Garver reacts after a foul ball hit him in the groin on June 1 in Baltimore. He hasn’t played since.

Scoggins: 'Super exposed.' Garver shares the pain of a catcher's life

Catchers accept a certain degree of occupational hazard. Foul tips are going to sting body parts. Mitch Garver knows both the risks and the rewards.
Josh Donaldson struck out twice and popped out to right field against Gerrit Cole. Donaldson finished the game 0-for-5.

Scoggins: Yankees' Cole uses his best stuff, sticks it to accuser Donaldson

Gerrit Cole on the mound, Josh Donaldson in the batter's box and a week's worth of headlines about sticky substances and spin rates ended in a mismatch.
Minneapolis North starting quarterback Zach Yeager

Scoggins: Minnesota's 2021 seniors reach finish line in a class all their own

High school seniors in the class of 2021 hold a special place, with a pandemic testing them in ways we can't fully comprehend.
New Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson is getting a crash course on roster fluidity. All but one returning player on the roster entered the

Scoggins: Unending recruiting battles ahead as we enter transfer portal era

Fail to lure top recruits out of high school? Be patient, coach. You might woo them on the second or third time around as the traditional recruiting model has suddenly become obsolete.
Target Center underwent $140M in renovations recently but it’s still the second-oldest arena in NBA. Is it time to replace it?.

Scoggins: Next Wolves owners may seek new arena or move

Will the Wolves new owners really want to spend winters living here and view this opportunity as a chance to establish deeply connected civic roots? That likely hinges on the arena situation.
Marcus Foligno (17) connected with a right to the jaw of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden (22) in the third period. Jordan Greenway looked

Scoggins: Big-boy hockey by Wild gives team momentum for Game 7

If you ever want to see what a team that doesn't want its season to end looks like, just watch a replay of the Wild's 3-0 win over the Golden Knights.
Max Kepler

Scoggins: If the Twins become sellers, where do they start?

It's hard to know who are the Twins' core players to keep for the future.