Staff Directory 410673895

Megan Ryan

Reporter | College sports
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Megan Ryan is a sports reporter at the Star Tribune covering colleges.

Ryan covered the Minnesota United FC during its first two years of existence. She previously spent two years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering Penn State football, Robert Morris basketball and high school sports. A Minnesota native and Minneapolis resident, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a major in journalism and minors in management and global studies. She has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas (covering the real Friday Night Lights for the Dallas Morning News) and New York (as a sports copy editor for a summer through the Dow Jones News Fund).
Recent content from Megan Ryan
New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. during a Gophers spring football practice last month before the program was shut down.

Gophers work to master new coordinator's offense -- via remote

Saturday was supposed to be the Gophers spring football game, a chance for new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. to show his stuff in front of a TCF Bank Stadium crowd amped after an 11-2 season.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan has a wireless TV setup in his room for easy film viewing. A whiteboard with dry erase marker hangs on the wall for

Whiteboard, weights, wireless: Gophers QB Morgan has structure in shutdown

When the coronavirus forced all sports to cease in early March, after only a week of spring football practices, Tanner Morgan and his family adjusted on the fly to keep the All-Big Ten second-team quarterback ready.
Gophers pitcher Amber Fiser has her sights on the 2021 season.

Gophers' softball ace Fiser makes it official: She's coming back

Fiser, whose 31-9 season with a 1.27 ERA and 346 strikeouts helped the Gophers to the Women's College World Series last year, had her senior season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Softball pitcher Amber Fiser has been among the most outspoken Gophers athletes about extending eligibility for spring sports.

Tough choices ahead as NCAA gives spring athletes another year

How this decision actually will play out is complicated because there are decisions that need to be made by both the athletes and their schools.
After losing a month of school and 40 pounds due to a serious skiing accident, Henry Snider methodically rebuilt his strength and stamina.

Skiing accident nearly derailed young Minnesotan's athletic career

Mounds Park Academy senior now one of state's top high school skiers and runners.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck went through drills with players during the first open practice of the spring on March 6.

Gophers football players, coaches working at home amid uncertainty

Spring football offered promise, but that's on hold.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck directed his team during its Outback Bowl victory over Auburn on Jan. 1.

Fleck knows Gophers are in uncharted waters

Most Gophers football players are at their homes and could stay there through the end of the semester, since the university has moved all classes to online instruction.
Target Field remained covered with snow in January. With concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus delaying or suspending sports seasons, the Tw

COVID-19 fallout will be costly for Twin Cities sports

From franchises to vendors, the economic effects will be widespread.
The Gophers’ men’s hockey team is among the group of University of Minnesota athletes traveling this week for games.

Gophers sports teams will compete, travel as planned 'at this time'

Gophers sports teams are competing this week in Indiana, Hawaii, Louisiana, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania.
The Gophers' Sampo Ranta (58) celebrated after scoring a second-period goal against Notre Dame in a 3-2 victory Sunday.

Gophers rally to stop Notre Dame, advance to Big Ten hockey semifinals

The Gophers couldn't contain their feelings Sunday, after surmounting a bleak recent few weeks to advance in the Big Ten tournament in front of a tiny crowd at Mariucci.
Gophers coach Bob Motzko directed his team during a game last month.

Gophers hockey shut out by Notre Dame in Big Ten tournament opener

A crowd of around 2,000 is all that showed up to see the Gophers lose 1-0, meaning their season is on the line. They must win Saturday and Sunday to advance.
P.J. Fleck and the Gophers capped an 11-2 season with a New Year's Day victory over Auburn in the Outback Bowl.

Gophers prepare for spring football practice, with bamboo as inspiration

Coach P.J. Fleck explained how the plant can take years to reach its full height, sometimes as tall as 100 feet. The Gophers sprouted last year during an 11-2 season and intend to keep climbing.
Blake McLaughlin, left, and Sammy Walker both have had bigger second halves this season, helping the Gophers put themselves in a position to win the B

Linemates McLaughlin, Walker laugh together and help Gophers surge

From movie quotes to pregame rituals to sensational goals, sophomores Blake McLaughlin and Sammy Walker have weathered the ups and downs of their Gophers careers at each other's sides — literally.
Kevin Warren

In 2nd month leading Big Ten, Warren's 2020 schedule already packed

New Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, who was in Minneapolis on Tuesday, said he will focus on student-athletes and eyes a stronger hockey presence.
From left: Tyler Johnson, Kamal Martin, Carter Coughlin, Antonio Winfield Jr.

Ex-Gophers jumping through NFL hoops to fulfill dreams of turning pro

After an 11-2 season and Outback Bowl victory, interest in the team's NFL prospects is on the rise. Here's a look at the four Gophers who are hoping to improve their NFL chances at this week's combine.
Gophers forward Jack Perbix controlled the puck in the second period against Michigan State during Friday night's game.

Gophers hockey skates to weekend split with Michigan State

The Gophers saw their six-game winning streak end, losing just their second game of the second half.
Gophers forward Sampo Ranta celebrated his second period goal with forward Ben Meyers, right, against Michigan State.

U hockey moves into tie atop Big Ten with victory over Michigan State

The Gophers scored 71 seconds into the game, and have now won eight of the past nine since beginning the second half of the season.
Mike Sanford Jr., the Gophers’ new offensive coordinator, will have a contract similar to defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

New Gophers coordinator Sanford to make $625,000 this season

The Board of Regents are scheduled to review the contract of Mike Sanford Jr., hired as offensive coordinator, at next week's meeting.
Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko has watched his team reel off seven wins in eight games.

Gophers trying not to overanalyze surge into Big Ten hockey race

The Gophers head into this weekend's Michigan State series riding a five-game winning streak. They have climbed to No. 18 in the PairWise and are just one point out of first place in the Big Ten.
Gophers cornerback Kiondre Thomas (31) has entered the NCAA transfer portal. The 6-foot, 190-pound Arkansas native was a redshirt junior this past sea

Gophers' Thomas enters transfer portal

Cornerback Kiondre Thomas will be a graduate transfer with one season of eligibility remaining.
Gophers forward Ben Meyers celebrated his third period goal in last Saturday’s victory against Ohio State.

Delano's Ben Meyers: 'Old' freshman spurs U's recent revival

Even after a recent surge in points and a spot on the Gophers' top line, 21-year-old Ben Meyers still embraces his status in the hockey hierarchy: "I'm still loading the bus."
Minnesota's Sammy Walker (9) celebrated his second-period goal on Dec. 29 vs. St. Cloud State. The Gophers beat Ohio State on Friday.

Gophers hockey overcomes slow start to top Ohio State 6-3

The Gophers scored four-consecutive goals in front of their home crowd and beat the No. 6 Buckeyes 6-3.
The Gophers’ Sampo Ranta, left celebrating one of his goals, is big, strong and starting to have more success as a sophomore.

Gophers sophomore forward Ranta developing into a force

Sampo Ranta, a sophomore from Finland, has used his 6-2, 205-pound frame to be more physical this season, which has made him harder for opponents to play.
Goaltender Sydney Scobee said she and her Gophers teammates are excited about Saturday’s outdoor game even if it will be chilly.

No. 1 U women's hockey to battle No. 5 Ohio State — and chilly conditions

Saturday's game of this big WCHA series will be outdoors - the first time since Hockey Day Minnesota began in 2007 the Gophers women's team will be part of the event's TV coverage.
Gophers forward Garrett Wait (17) was congratulated by forward Ben Meyers (39) after a goal against Bemidji State on Dec. 28.

U hockey brings something new to Michigan State: Momentum

When last seen, Minnesota won the Mariucci Classic with two steppingstone wins.
Mike Sanford

Sanford not planning 'wholesale' changes to Gophers offense

With the Gophers offense returning all but two starters next year and having scored 443 points in an 11-2 season, new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. isn't about to overhaul the system.
Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. said he has dreamed of following his father, Antoine Winfield Sr., into the NFL.

'It's my time now.' Winfield Jr. leaving Gophers to turn pro

Sophomore safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was a unanimous first-team All-America selection and will forego his final two seasons of college eligibility.
Gophers coach PJ Fleck celebrated with his players during a team photo following their Outback Bowl victory against Auburn.

Gophers bringing back plenty of talent on offense, have holes to fill on defense

The Gophers football program will need to prove this season wasn't a fluke if they want to keep the national attention gained from 2019.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck hired from the outside and promoted from within with two moves Friday.

Fleck hires Utah State's Sanford as new Gophers offensive coordinator

New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr., 37, already has extensive coaching experience. He was head coach at Western Kentucky in 2017-18, and also worked as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame
Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson during the second half of the Outback Bowl NCAA college football game against Auburn Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in

Which five Gophers helped their stock most in the Outback Bowl?

Tyler Johnson and interim offensive coordinator Matt Simon weren't the only ones who boosted their profiles.
Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson’s hands and feet were in perfect unison on an acrobatic 2-yard touchdown grab late in the first half of Wednesda

Tyler Johnson leads Gophers to Outback Bowl victory over Auburn

Minnesota takes control early, aided by a huge day from receiver Tyler Johnson -- 12 catches, 204 yards, two TDs -- for the 31-24 Jan. 1 bowl game win.
Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim slashed into the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against Auburn.

That's two bowls, 364 rushing yards for Gophers' Ibrahim

After gaining 224 yards and being named MVP in last year's Quick Lane Bowl, Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 140 yards and a touchdown against Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
The U’s band marched during the Tuesday night parade in Tampa, Fla.

Boatload of Gophers fans rock Tampa before Outback Bowl

Gophers fans have invaded the area, spotted everywhere from the beach to the city streets to the team's hotel lobby, which was in full-swing happy hour mode Tuesday.
Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson and teammates have been striding toward a moment of reckoning ever since arriving in Tampa.

The call: Goal of New Year's Day victory gleams for Gophers. Will it happen?

The first meeting between the Gophers and Auburn provides Minnesota a chance for a statement win against an SEC power.
Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman signed a football for Isaac Harder, 11, of Rosemount during the Outback Bowl’s Beach Day on Monday in Clearwate

Gophers' Bateman embraces the power of poultry

With the No. 16 Gophers playing No. 9 Auburn in the Outback Bowl on Wednesday, the star receiver espouses one of the sources of his power -- Zaxby's chicken -- while also crediting his fellow receivers for being dangerous targets.
Gophers standout defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. played in the surf with teammates and a group of kids during the Outback Bowl’s Beach Day on Mo

Gophers enjoy a day of relaxation over preparation before Outback Bowl

The players enjoyed some fun in the sun at Clearwater Beach.
Defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere has spent five years with the Gophers, and he will have played in every game his entire career, starting 35 o

DeLattiboudere has one more game for U, and uncertainty after that

Senior defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere isn't sure what the next chapter in his life will look like after Wednesday's Outback Bowl against Auburn.
Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown

Auburn star Brown had no doubt about playing in Outback Bowl

Derrick Brown, an Auburn team captain and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, stayed true to his school.
Gophers interim offensive coordinator Matt Simon during practice Sunday.

Gophers' Rossi advises Simon during role changes

Shifting coordinator positions are nothing new on P.J. Fleck's staff.
Minnesota Gophers tight end Jake Paulson (80) was carted off the field after suffering a lower leg injury in the first half against Northwestern on No

Gophers will be without starting tight end Jake Paulson in Outback Bowl

The sophomore had surgery last week and had his left arm in a cast.
Gophers wide receivers Tyler Johnson (6) and Rashod Bateman both surpassed 1,000 yards receiving this season, drawing the praise -- and the concern --

Gophers receivers Bateman, Johnson impress Auburn safety

The Tigers defense will try to prevent Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan from throwing deep to the two 1,000-yard receivers.
Once Casey O’Brien was lured to Elias McNeal’s room by a “Go Gophers” shout, he spent some time with the toddler.

Gophers' O'Brien savors yet another day to inspire others

Five-time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien joined other Gophers in visiting a hospital in Tampa while the team prepares to face Auburn in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
With Kirk Ciarrocca (left) leaving for a job at Penn State, Matt Simon will become the Gophers' interim offensive coordinator for their Outback Bowl g

Game plan set, Gophers turn offense over to wide receivers coach Simon

Kirk Ciarrocca's exit leaves receivers coach Matt Simon in charge, though head coach P.J. Fleck will play a larger role.
Kirk Ciarrocca watched over the offense during a Gophers football practice.

'Like a little break-up': Fleck plans to move on quickly as Ciarrocca leaves

P.J. Fleck said he's already started the process of finding a replacement for offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who is going to rival Penn State. "I know a lot of people," Fleck said.
Rashod Bateman scored a 51-yard touchdown when we last saw the Gophers football team, during its snowy loss at home to Wisconsin last month. Thursday

All work before play? That won't be story of Gophers' Outback Bowl trip

The buildup before taking on Auburn will include a strong vacation vibe, too.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck addressed the media Friday at the Athletes Village.

P.J. Fleck expects all the Gophers' seniors, except Kamal Martin, to play the Outback Bowl

The Gophers coach also said injured quarterback Zack Annexstad won't be ready to return for the bowl game.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck on Wednesday spoke to reporters about his recruiting class in the team locker room.

Gophers' last-chance efforts get two defensive ends to flip

Jah Joyner and Jalen Logan-Redding were surprise adds to the Gophers' recruiting class, which ranks 32nd nationally and ninth in the Big Ten.

One spot still open in Gophers football recruiting class

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said because this is a big class — also with two walk-ons — he's confident in the depth, so he might not have to take a handful of transfers as he did last season.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck's 2020 recruiting class has bonded through Twitter and a group chat, reuniting for the Wisconsin game to experience

Together already: Gophers 2020 football recruits have started their bonding

After committing to Minnesota, many of the newest Gophers football players have stayed together through social media and group chats, in addition to reuniting for the Wisconsin game to experience "College GameDay."
Gophers defensive line coach Jim Panagos in August. Panagos left the program to become an assistant at Rutgers on Saturday.

Defensive line coach Jim Panagos leaves Gophers for Rutgers

He joins Greg Schiano in returning to the Scarlet Knights.
Gophers defensive lineman Winston DeLattiboudere spoke about the team heading to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on New Year's Day.

After losing Axe, Gophers 'ready to move on' to Outback Bowl prep

P.J. Fleck gave the players this past week off to digest the season while the staff recruited before returning to practice Sunday.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck spoke about the team heading to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on New Year's Day.

Gophers-Auburn on New Year's Day: Maroon and gold vs. blue blood foe

The teams have never met, but Minnesota knows the name and the challenges that Auburn will present in the Outback Bowl. "The level of our bowl game has completely changed," coach P.J. Fleck.said,
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young pressures Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan on Oct. 26, a game the Buckeyes dominated. The teams meet again Saturda

After all that drama, it's back to Buckeyes vs. Badgers for Big Ten title

In a season of ups (Gophers, Indiana) and downs (Michigan State, Northwestern), Ohio State and Wisconsin stayed on course.
Gophers defensive back Jordan Howden intercepted a pass intended for Penn State receiver KJ Hamler, securing a Minnesota victory.

Building on success: Gophers evaluating roster with eyes on 2020

More expectation will fall on the Gophers next season as they return nine of 11 starters on offense. But graduation will sap the defense of six impact players. How are things shaping up?
Gophers wide receivers Rashod Bateman (13) and Tyler Johnson (6) celebrated after a touchdown by Bateman on the opening drive vs. Fresno State earlier

Bateman named Big Ten Receiver of the Year; Johnson also first-team

Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson were honored Wednesday as first-team picks, along with Tanner Morgan and Rodney Smith as All-Big Ten Second Team picks.
For leading his team to a 10-2 regular season, P.J. Fleck became the third Gophers coach to be selected as Big Ten Coach of the Year, joining Jerry Ki

Coaches pick Fleck as coach of the year; media chooses Buckeyes coach

The split decision didn't sound like it bothered Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, who said: "When it comes from your peers, it means a heck of a lot more."
Dejected Gophers players walked off the field after Minnesota's 38-17 loss to Wisconsin in the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe at TCF Bank Stadium on Sat

For Gophers and fans, it's grief and then a bowl game

Gophers players and fans have a month to rinse the sour taste out of their mouths from Saturday's loss to Wisconsin. But there's still a payoff ahead for the 10-2 season.

Faalele's exit hurts Gophers' offensive line plan

P.J. Fleck said the team planned to use its heavy package that features all six O-linemen on the field at the same time, but that fizzled when 6-9, 400-pound Daniel Faalele left injured and did not return.
Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. was among the players who stayed on despite many questions.

Lights of loyalty: Turmoil-tested Gophers take a bow before showdown with Badgers

Many who stayed through coaching changes and uncertainty will play their final game at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, capping an unprecedented regular season with a chance at the Big Ten Championship Game.
Kalamazoo native Gregg Jennings, left, and Lee Corso selected P.J. Fleck’s Western Michigan team to beat Buffalo in 2016.

'College GameDay' nod another sign that Gophers football has arrived

Minnesota will also be the fourth school this year making its debut on the popular TV show, which started in 1993.
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks.

'Near impossible to quit': Gophers' Brooks runs through hits — on and off the field

Gophers running back Shannon Brooks endured two major injuries, an arrest and his mother's death. The events nearly took him out of football but he is is ending his Gophers career with the best season in decades.
The Gophers’ Kirk Ciarrocca is one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Gophers players, coaches prepare for a chilly Saturday against Badgers

Weather forecasts predict another couple inches of snow to accumulate in the Twin Cities throughout Friday and Saturday with highs in the 30s for the game.
The Gophers huddled and hollered after reclaiming Paul Bunyan's Axe a year ago in Madison. A repeat on their home turf this season would give Minnesot

First they reclaimed The Axe. Now Gophers want bigger prize by beating Badgers

Beating the Badgers for the first time in 14 years last season was a sea-change moment, but nothing like what will could place at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday if Minnesota wins.
Gophers holder Casey O’Brien (14) waved alongside coach P.J. Fleck to patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital on Nov. 16.

Gophers' O'Brien, a four-time cancer survivor, facing more surgery

Casey O'Brien, who made his college debut as a holder last month, announced that he has a spot in one of his lungs
In Tyler Johnson (left) and Rashod Bateman, the Gophers have two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season for the first time.

Two-of-a-kind receivers having one-of-a-kind season for Gophers

In Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman, the Gophers have two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season. And they're catching passes from a record-setting quarterback.
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2014, file photo, ESPN College GameDay hosts Lee Corso, left, and Kirk Herbstreit

Overlooked no more: ESPN's 'College GameDay' coming to Minnesota

The Gophers and Badgers are 60-60-8 in their storied football rivalry for Paul Bunyan's Axe and next week they play for the Big Ten West title. There's added motivation, too: ESPN's 'College GameDay' is coming .
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks ran the ball for a touchdown in the first quarter against Northwestern

Quiet atmospehere at Northwestern a rarity for Gophers

Northwestern's Ryan Field, the smallest stadium in the Big Ten conference with a 47,000 capacity, managed an announced attendance of only 30,246 on Saturday.
Gophers receiver Demetrius Douglas has caught just 12 passes for 121 yards this season, but they have mostly come at key moments.

Gophers WR Douglas making his opportunities count

He's made key plays in limited offensive snaps.
Oct. 22, 2016: In its last win over Ohio State, Penn State outscored the Buckeyes 17-0 in the fourth quarter to win in Happy Valley 24-21. Both teams

Penn State still huge factor in final weeks of Big Ten football

Gophers fans anticipating a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game might want to pay some attention to Saturday's Penn State-Ohio State game.
Cole Kramer, left, and Jacob Clark each possess skill sets that could benefit the Gophers if either are called upon.

What if? One of these freshmen QBs will start if Tanner Morgan can't

One was a starter at Eden Prairie, the other made his prep debut in front of 10,000 fans in Texas. Either Cole Kramer and Jacob Clark will start at Northwestern if Tanner Morgan can't play.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and quarterback Tanner Morgan walked off the field after Morgan was injured on the final drive of last Saturday’s loss at I

Hit near end of Iowa game makes U's Morgan uncertain for Northwestern

Quarterback Tanner Morgan's availability on Saturday will depend on how quickly he proceeds through the steps in the concussion protocol the Gophers athletics department uses.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck led the team onto the field before Saturday’s game at Iowa.

Gophers fall to No. 10 in College Football Playoff rankings after Iowa loss

Minnesota climbed to No. 8 last week but dropped after taking its first loss of the season.
Football coach P.J. Fleck and Gophers trainers attended to quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) after a hard sack in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 23-19 l

Morgan's availability for Northwestern game still uncertain

The Gophers redshirt sophomore quarterback left Saturday's Iowa loss during the final series with a possible concussion.
Gophers freshman running back Cam Wiley (3) played against Georgia Southern earlier this season and Iowa last Saturday. He can only play in two more g

Gophers' Fleck picks Wiley's spots carefully

Freshman running back Cam Wiley played his second game at Iowa as a kick returner and running back, and he might get only two more this season as coach P.J. Fleck tries to preserve a redshirt year for him.
Iowa defensive back Riley Moss broke up a pass intended for Gophers receiver Chris Autman-Bell in the second quarter Saturday in Iowa City.

Gophers will decide direction of season in next two weeks

"This season could go two ways," linebacker Thomas Barber said about Saturday's loss at Iowa. "We can end up losing the next two. Or having this be a wake-up call for us."