Staff Directory 10644476

Dennis Brackin

 | Newsroom
Recent content from Dennis Brackin
Sid Hartman, here at age 90, was a longtime backer of the Minnesota Twins.

Sid Hartman's doggedness helped put Minnesota on the baseball map

Sid Hartman was part of a group led by John Cowles Jr., publisher of the Minneapolis Star and Morning Tribune, fighting for a Major League Baseball team.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer shared a laugh with Sid Hartman, who was always quotable, even by accident.

'Sidisms' made for big laughs, even if their creator didn't get the joke

They were known as "Sidisms." Malaprops and mispronunciations that became as much an indelible part of Sid Hartman's career as his scoops and "close personal friends."
Shannon Currier had been out of coaching for seven years, but when the head football job at Concordia (St. Paul) opened at the end of last season, he

Concordia (St. Paul) football looks to its past to reinvent future

Despite a seven-year detour as a sales manager, Shannon Currier is still passionate about coaching football.
The classic image from the 1991 World Series is from Game 2, when Atlanta's Ron Gant had just singled to left field. But he was tagged coming back to

Then and now: 25 years ago, last-place Twins and Atlanta were Classic

One year before they met in a World Series that's remembered as one of the best ever, the Twins and Atlanta finished last in their divisions, the same place both teams reside 25 years later.
Dennis Green, former coach of the Minnesota Vikings, has died at age 67.

Ex-Vikings coach Dennis Green, dead at 67, leaves a legacy on field and off

The coach from 1992 to 2002, he led the team to the playoffs eight times and was second to only Bud Grant in all-time team victories.
Beez McKeever enjoyed the game with “Red Coats” friends Ian and Darren Scott, brothers who are actually from Wales. They tried to stay cool and en


xyxyxyxyDennis Brackin • 612-673-1740
In this 2014 file photo, Washburn High School running back Jeff Jones announces his intention to play football at the University of Minnesota.

Jeff Jones, ex-top Gophers football recruit, jailed on felony drug charge

Jeff Jones left the Gophers in December and was planning to play at Iowa Western junior college. He was arrested for drug possession Thursday, and he had an assault charge in March in Iowa.
Minnesota Twins third base coach Gene Glynn, left, greets Eduardo Escobar as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the second inning of

Three homers, three perfect innings by Santana lead Twins to win

Ervin Santana needed only 26 pitches to get through three innings against the Red Sox and the Twins hit back-to-back home runs off David Price.
Former coaches Jake McCoy, Larry Hendrickson and Mike Thomas posed for a photo inside an empty Richfield Ice Arena.

Why did high school hockey die in Richfield?

Richfield produced four NHL players and there were epic battles with Edina for a berth in the state tournament. So why is Richfield Arena without high school hockey now?

Hockey communities take on new challenges

Other communities are beginning to deal with drops in participation.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Nemanja Bjelica

Bjelica works to translate his game with Wolves

A star in Europe, the Serb is struggling for minutes while learning the NBA.
St. Thomas tight end Charlie Dowdle has 37 receptions and nine TDs this season. He is averaging 21.9 yards per catch.

Tommies have real threat in tight end Dowdle

The double duty as a holder on field-goal attempts and conversion kicks speaks to Charlie Dowdle's value to the Tommies.
St. Thomas running back Jordan Roberts (23) cuts upfield in the first half as the University of St. Thomas Tommies hosted the Wabash College Little Gi

Friendship is on the line in Tommies' Division III semifinal

Several hours after St. Thomas and Linfield had won last Saturday in their respective playoff football games, childhood friends Jordan Roberts and Ty Farber exchanged texts of well-wishes.
Margie Brackin made this painting at the Driggs Digs Plein Air in Idaho.

Increase the job of giving (and get a trip) with the gift of a learning vacation

The Driggs Digs Plein Air experience in Idaho makes a great gift – especially when you can tag along.
Zach LaVine

Wolves' LaVine gets a visit from his childhood idol

Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton, known for his defense, was his idol growing up.
David Simmet (75) knocked down a Bethel player in a late October game the Tommies won at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

Tommies tackle Simmet stands out in several ways

When David Simmet began youth football, he had a red stripe on his helmet — prohibiting him from running with the ball — because he was so much bigger than the other kids.
Jeremy Piper, from Louisiana, said St. John’s “was the most football-based school I looked at.”

MIAC football: Not just for 'local kids' anymore

MIAC schools are drawing more players from the West and Southwest.
The Celebrity Constellation looms in the background from a city swimming beach on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

Private excursions let you avoid the crowds on Mediterranean cruise

During a Mediterranean cruise, immerse yourself in the port of call – away from the crowds – by skipping the ship's excursions and booking your own private tours.
Tayshaun Prince (21), then with the Memphis Grizzlies, guarded the Wolves' Kevin Love in 2013. Prince, 35, agreed to a one-year deal that will reunite

Wolves add veteran forward Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince, 35, agreed to a one-year deal that will reunite him with Flip Saunders.
Then-Gophers track coach Roy Griak at age 70 in April 1994.

Longtime Gophers track and field coach Roy Griak dies at 91

Griak coached the Gophers cross-country and track and field teams for 33 years, then stayed associated with the programs as an administrative aide.
The Minnesota United expansion MLS team hopes to attract rabid and casual soccer fans, as the Seattle Sounders do.

Will MLS investment pay off for Minnesota owners?

The gamble in investing in MLS is that financial success is linked to the continued growth of soccer in this country, and more specifically on broadening the MLS fanbase.
Twins lefthander Tommy Milone held the Yankees to one run over six innings.

Milone sharp, Escobar slugs as Twins beat Yankees 3-1

The Twins on Tuesday had no reason to regret naming Tommy Milone their fifth starter.
Bill McGuire

MLS expected to announce deal to add Minnesota expansion team

What's unknown at this time is whether Bill McGuire will reveal at the Wednesday announcement that he has finalized plans for an outdoor downtown stadium.
MLS commissioner Don Garber

Minnesota moves closer to MLS; stadium issue needs to be settled

The remaining hurdle for Minnesota is finalizing for a new downtown outdoor soccer stadium, as preferred by the league. How it would be funded is still unknown.
Bill McGuire,

United owner McGuire group has MLS backing for expansion team

Former UnitedHealth boss, with Pohlad family and Glen Taylor backing, wants to build a new soccer stadium near Target Field.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke during a press conference announcing that Altana would be getting an expansion team last April.

MLS labor issues muddy expansion waters

The CBA between the league and players expired Jan. 31, and a strike is being threatened.
Minnesota Twins celebrate after the final out of the 1987 World Series in the Metrodome.

Twins call claims of artificial noise in '87 Series 'comical'

One of the most recognizable voices in sports broadcasting, Al Michaels, said he is convinced that the Twins pumped artificial noise into the Metrodome in 1987.
Mike Grant has won the past four big-school state football titles and 10 in all coaching Eden Prairie High School.

Sportsperson of the Year: Grant a winner on and off the field (Dec. 25)

Even more so than iconic coaches in Mike Grant's life, his mother's devotion to humanity guides all he does at Eden Prairie.
PREP FOOTBALL Class 6A Tournament. Eden Prairie vs. Wayzata. Eden Prairie head coach Mike Grant yelled to his team from the sidelines. (MARLIN LEVISON

Eden Prairie wasn't always a powerhouse

The program that Mike Grant inherited upon arriving at Eden Prairie in 1992 had a record of 6-45 the previous six seasons. Those numbers don’t…
Mankato lineman, Josh Meeker

MSU Mankato's Omaha connection has paid big dividends

The MSU Mankato offensive line shares prep history from Omaha. The Mavericks (13-0) host Concord (W. Va.) in Saturday's Division II national semifinals.
The cost of owning Gophers football season tickets will increase each of the next three years for thousands of fans under a plan the athletics departm

Cost for Gophers football season tickets to rise for most seats

The Gophers unveiled scholarship seating fees to that will impact more than 28,000 seats in TCF Bank Stadium, an increase of almost 20,000 seats from the current premium seating plan.
Booking mug 11/24/14 for Daquein McNeil, Gophers basketball sophomore guard.

McNeil's future with Gophers in doubt after felony charges

An account of the alleged crime said the woman was strangled and whipped.
Michigan Wolverines forward Glenn Robinson III shoots against Wayne State in the first half of an exhibition NCAA basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich.,

Glenn Robinson III under contract, working with new teammates

Second-round pick Glenn Robinson III, newly under contract, is at work proving his worth as a wing player.
Dante Cunningham, left.

Charges dropped against former Wolves player Cunningham

The forward had been charged with felony domestic assault.
Flip Saunders, Timberwolves coach.

Wolves open season Oct. 29 in Memphis; Cavs visit in January

LeBron James and Co. visit Flip Saunders and the Wolves at Target Center on Jan. 31. It's the marquee game of the Timberwolves 2014-15 schedule released Wednesday by the NBA.
Shawn Afryl

Winona State player's death linked to an enlarged heart

Shawn Afryl's former high school coach says the ex-Illinois recruit had an enlarged heart that had gone undetected.
Shawn Afryl

Aspiring Winona State football player dies during workout

Shawn Afryl, 22, who had just transferred from the University of Illinois, was taking part in voluntary strength and conditioning drills when he collapsed and died.
Bob McNamara was a key financial supporter of his beloved Gophers.

Gophers football great, fundraiser Bob McNamara dies at 82

McNamara Center was one of the most important projects.
Design concept of the new Lowertown Ballpark in St. Paul.

State of Minnesota baseball: Strong, but could be better

Baseball in Minnesota is going strong, but big challenges exist including the lack of inner-city participation and corresponding future interest.
Billy Peterson coached both Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor in American Legion ball, and he still works with young players at Dunning Field in St Paul.

St. Paul's fields of All-Star dreams

Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris and Joe Mauer all started illustrious careers on the playgrounds of St. Paul.
Dave Engle, shown here in his All-Star season of 1984, hit the first home run at the Metrodome in 1982.

Catcher Engle's 'stardom' with Twins was short-lived

Dave Engle, the Twins' 1984 representative, lost his catching job because of quirky lobs to the pitcher.
Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx is surrounded by teammates, from left, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore after Augustus scored a

Lynx prepare for White House visit, busy stretch of games

As part of the 2013 WNBA champion Lynx, Maya Moore will make her fifth White House visit. Thursday's honor comes ahead of a busy stretch of Lynx games.
Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves over the Kings in Game 7 in the Western semifinals in 2004.

A look at Game 7s in Minnesota history

The state has gone a decade without appearing in one, but Minnesota teams have a rich history of Game 7s. State teams have suited up…
Photo by Marjorie Brackin

'Ice out!' Looking ahead to opening the cabin

With spring here, at least officially, a cabin owner looks ahead to another fun season of swimming, boating and serious family time.
Lou Nanne talks about his effort to head the university's $190 million fundraising campaign for new facilities.

Jan. 15: Q&A with U of M fundraising chairman Lou Nanne

Lou Nanne has heard the reasons why University of Minnesota sports teams can't compete and decided: That's enough.
Matt Guerrier

Reliever Guerrier returns; Buxton tops another prospects list

Matt Guerrier will report with Twins pitchers and catchers on Feb. 16, and he fully expects to win a job in the Twins bullpen, a position he held from 2004 through 2010.

Full transcript: Lou Nanne talks with the Star Tribune

Transcript from interview with Star Tribune's Dennis Brackin and Lou Nanne, chairman of the University of Minnesota's $190 million athletics fundraising campaign:STAR TRIBUNE: Pretend I'm…
The Twins and Mariners stood at attention for the national anthem in the first regular-season game at the Metrodome in April 1982.

Dome's flaws came into play

It took all of one game for people to realize that the Metrodome was not as ideal as originally envisioned.
The Metrodome was aglow with special lighting for Super Bowl XXVI on Jan. 17, 1992, one of the few Super Bowls ever to be held in a northern state.

1991-92: Sports capital of the USA

The Metrodome basked in the glory of some of sports' biggest events in 1991 and '92.
Better luck at TCF Stadium?

For Gophers, Metrodome went from blessing to curse (November 21, 2008))

The Metrodome, first seen as a recruiting advantage for the U and later as a curse, will lose its college tenant Saturday. The football program thrived at first, but after Lou Holtz left, 'You didn't know what time of day it was.'
Marv Wolfenson (left) and Harvey Ratner

From 1989: Timberwolves' Harv and Marv liked an informal approach

Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson were undaunted in their quest to bring NBA basketball to Minnesota.
The Gophers women's hockey team's 62-game winning streak ended Sunday in a 3-2 loss to North Dakota. Minnesota's Meghan Lorence hit the ice in pursuit

North Dakota snaps U women's 62-game winning streak 3-2

Fourth-ranked North Dakota defeated Minnesota 3-2 Sunday afternoon, snapping the Gophers' women's 62-game winning streak.
Hannah Brandt, now a Gophers sophomore, mixed it up with UND’s Jocelyne Lamoureux in the NCAA regional last March.

Gophers women's hockey streak faces tough test against North Dakota

In the last meeting with UND, the Gophers won in three OTs in an NCAA regional. Minnesota in in the midst of a 61-game winning streak.
The U’s 61-game win streak is the longest in major college hockey, men’s or women’s.

Gophers women's hockey winning streak evokes wonder and worry

History hangs in the balance every time the Gophers women's hockey team gets on the ice. Its 61-game winning streak is the longest in major college hockey, men's or women's.
Ron Gardenhire

Source: Gardenhire will stay with Twins as manager

Twins officials confirmed late Monday morning that Ron Gardenhire and his coaching staff will return in 2014. A press conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
The lakefront at the Brackin family cabin has seen many happy memories — as well as its share of mishaps and near-misses.

Worth the debt? A cabin owner reflects upon his investment.

A cabin owner reflects upon the wisdom of a taking on a second home, a second mortgage and a second set of yard work.
(left to right) Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders introduced the Wolves new General Manager Milt Newton during a press conferenc

Job no longer secret, relatively speaking, for new Wolves GM

Milt Newton kept Minnetonka in-laws in dark during Wolves GM talks, not wanting to prematurely raise hopes.
Bobby Jackson, right, played for Rick Adelman with Sacramento Kings, and now he'll coach for Adelman with the Timberwolves.

Ex-Gopher Jackson brings intensity to Timberwolves assistant job

The former Gophers standout has ramped up offseason workouts in his role as assistant coach.
Head Coach Gary Fasching praised defense lineman Nate Blenker after a good pass rush during practice at St John's University in Collegeville Min., Wed

Legendary task: Fasching takes over for Gagliardi at St. John's

Gary Fasching isn't only taking over at St. John's, he's replacing John Gagliardi and his record 489 wins.
Twins Ron Gardenhire has beaten a path to the pitcher’s mound this season. The staff is still looking for its first complete game of 2013.

Major league games slow to a crawl

The Twins are pretty much like every other team, as the average nine-inning game has increased from 2:46 in 2005 to 2:51 in 2008 to 2:56 in 2012 to 2:58 — three hours in the American League —this season.
Willie Burton — wearing maroon hightops — will walk across a stage Saturday and receive his degree in multidisciplinary studies from the U’s Col

For former Gophers star Burton, pomp will follow circumstance

More than 20 years after Willie Burton's Gophers glory days, he'll return to the University of Minnesota to get his degree.
Maple Grove hockey coach Gary Stefano, Principal Sara Vernig and Wendy Loberg, who provides system-level oversight for athletics, talked Thursday abou

Jan. 25: Suspensions haunt Maple Grove hockey team

As players return to the ice, Maple Grove High officials are mum about a purported sex video.
From left, the Wolves Lou Amundson, Chase Budinger, Jose Barea, Alexey Shved and Nikola Pekovic.

Timberwolves: Pale in comparison to the rest of the NBA

When Wolves offseason moves built a squad that's glaringly white, skeptics chimed in about motives.

Corner outfielders are a concern

Let's cut to the chase: Josh Willingham and Chris Parmelee lack speed and range, meaning the starting center fielder better be able to cover a lot of ground.

Move to FM is new for Twins radio

Baseball meets music with KTWN (96.3-FM) as the new radio home. That ends a 52-year run on AM.

Stefano out at Maple Grove

The boys' hockey coach wasn't given a reason; no one else is talking, either.
Tubby Smith left the court after the Gophers lost to Florida in the third round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Sunday. He was fired Monday.

Gophers fire Tubby Smith; search for new coach is in high gear

University says the men's basketball program needs a new start. The fired coach gets a $2.5 million buyout.
Ray Williams, University of Gophers star in the 1970s, died Friday.

Former Gophers, NBA star Ray Williams, dead at 58, was 'ahead of his time'

Ex-Gophers teammates of Ray Williams remember the exceptional feats of athleticism that set the 6-3 wing apart from others.
At the Williams Arena in a game between Penn State and the U of M women's basketball team, U of M head coach Pam Borton exhorted her troops during a t

U women's basketball hopes Big Ten run lands NCAA at-large bid

With the Big Ten tournament on deck, the Gophers fight not to miss the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row.
Maple Grove boys' hockey coach Gary Stefano

School officials interview hockey players about Maple Grove coach

Crimson coach Gary Stefano remains in the center of an off-ice storm.
Maple Grove boys' hockey coach Gary Stefano ‬during a game vs. Centennial.

More problems for Maple Grove boys' hockey coach Gary Stefano

Two motions, including a no-confidence vote regarding Stefano, have been placed before the Osseo-Maple Grove youth hockey association, persons with knowledge of those motions said Tuesday.
Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris.

Hall of Fame call unlikely for Jack Morris

Even after getting 66.7 percent of the vote last year, the St. Paul native's credentials are being overshadowed by the steroid era debate.
Andrei Kirilenko

For Kirilenko, it's back to Utah where it all came together

The Wolves forward admits it will be "a little bit special" returning to Utah, where he spent a decade developing into a stalwart player.
In this 2007 file photo, Johnnies' defensive coach Gary Fasching, left, is pictured with John Gagliardi.

Fasching gets St. John's coaching job, upsetting some alumni

The pick to replace legendary coach John Gagliardi is a former player and assistant there, but he's not Eden Prairie's Mike Grant, and that troubles some supporters. One called the search process "a colossal waste of time."
Jack Morris won three World Series, and even though he spent only one season with the Twins, he might be best known among fans for his Game 7 victory

Morris era intersects steroids era in latest vote

In his 14th year of eligibility, the St. Paul native shares a Hall of Fame ballot with names like Bonds, Clemens and Sosa.