The Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation will honor former Gophers captain and assistant coach Mike Sherels with its Courage Award on May 7 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Sherels nearly died last summer after suffering an intestinal problem that led to a series of complications. He underwent four surgeries in one week. Doctors said chances of his survival were poor. If he did live, one doctor told his wife, Emily, that Mike would not eat nor work again and his quality of life should be considered as his family weighed additional surgeries.

But Sherels overcame incredible odds and, only a few weeks after his last surgery, returned to coaching Gophers linebackers this past season.

Sherels has had two surgeries in January to re-connect what remains of his intestines. He is now able to eat again and almost all of the tubes have been removed from his body.

Sherels remains on medical leave from the university and unsure about his coaching future. He's focusing solely on his health and getting stronger but he hopes to be around football at some level this fall.

Chip Scoggins


• The Gophers baseball team's Big Ten Conference home opener vs. Rutgers, scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at Siebert Field, has been postponed. Inclement weather on the East Coast resulted in the Scarlet Knights' flight being canceled. Details on how that affects the rest of the weekend schedule will be provided later. The first-place Gophers (19-8, 6-0 Big Ten) are on a 10-game winning streak. The Scarlet Knights (10-18, 0-3) have lost four in a row.

• The No. 7 Gophers softball team (32-3, 5-1 Big Ten) plays its conference home opener vs. Indiana (17-18, 3-3) at 6 p.m. Friday at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

• Northwestern senior forward Nia Coffey, former Hopkins High School star, was one of 10 college players invited to attend the WNBA draft on Thursday at Samsung 837 in New York City.