The Gophers are close to having a new defensive line coach.

Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday night that Chad Wilt, Cincinnati’s defensive line coach, is expected to join the Gophers. A deal is not final, a source close to the team confirmed.

The Gophers lost Jim Panagos to Rutgers about a month ago. He stayed for only one season, a trend for the program the past several seasons.

With Wilt on staff this past year, Cincinnati ranked 40th in the FBS, allowing just 5,060 yards and an average of 5.1 yards per play. Wilt spent the previous three seasons at Army.

Megan Ryan

 

Canterbury changes

Canterbury Park announced it will make major changes to its stakes schedule for the 2020 season. The Shakopee track will hold all its biggest thoroughbred stakes races on Saturday evenings, and it has altered the lineup for the Minnesota Festival of Champions.

The track’s 65-day season will include 31 thoroughbred stakes worth a total of $2.2 million, and 16 quarter horse stakes with total purses of $720,000. Saturday post times have been moved to 5 p.m., with all but four of the thoroughbred stakes on those dates. Canterbury officials hope that holding stakes races on Saturday evenings will draw more simulcast wagering.

The season’s richest race will be the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, part of the Mystic Lake Northern Stars Racing Festival on June 27. The Sept. 5 Festival of Champions for Minnesota-bred horses will offer $700,000 in purses and a new look.

Two races traditionally part of the Festival — the Wally’s Choice Classic Championship and the Glitter Star Distaff Classic Championship — will be moved off the card. They will be replaced by a pair of $100,000 turf stakes, the Blair’s Cove and the Princess Elaine, which usually are run earlier in the meet.

The Wally’s Choice and Glitter Star will be part of Made In Minnesota Day on Aug. 15.

“Turf racing has continued to grow in popularity among racing participants and handicappers,’’ said Andrew Offerman, Canterbury’s vice president of racing operations.

“Moving two turf championship races to Festival day should provide a more compelling card for the wagering public.’’

Canterbury’s season begins May 15 and runs through Sept. 12.

RACHEL BLOUNT

 

Etc.

• St. Mary’s pitcher James Green, a junior righthander from St. Francis High School, was named to D3baseball.com’s preseason All-America second team.

• Kennedi Orr, a 6-0 junior setter and outside hitter for Eagan, was named the Gatorade Minnesota Volleyball Player of the Year for the second year in a row. She led the Wildcats (31-1) to the Class 3A state championship title match won by Wayzata.

• Senior forward Ashley St. Aubin of Augsburg was named to the D3soccer.com’s second All-America women’s soccer team for the second year in a row. St. Aubin, of Burnsville, had 18 goals and 42 points this past season.

• Hannah Geistfeld of Bethany Lutheran College was named to the D3hoops.com’s team of the week. The junior forward had back-to-back 30-point games and averaged 8.5 points as the Vikings (11-2) won twice.

NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the Class 3A volleyball state champion in 2019.