A new athletic field at Saint John's University will be named after legendary Hall of Fame football coach John Gagliardi. The multipurpose sports facility, which will feature an artificial turf field and a seasonal dome, will serve as the football practice field, and also will be used for varsity, intramural, recreational and club sports.
Gagliardi Field will be adjacent to the Johnnies' soccer venue, Haws Field, and will be funded by donations from Saint John's alumni and friends, including a $1.5 million gift from a former Johnnie football player who wishes to remain anonymous.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next spring.
"I am humbled and grateful that some of my players and friends have chosen to honor me in this manner," Gagliardi said. "This new field and dome will be like an eternal spring."
Gagliardi coached at Saint John's for 60 seasons from 1953 to 2012, winning a college record 489 games.
Competing near home
Five men with Minnesota connections are scheduled to compete in the U.S. Paralympics track and field national championships Friday through Sunday at Hamline University.
Josh Cinnamo of Apple Valley, who holds U.S. records in the shot put, discus and javelin (F46 class), will compete in all three events.
The T54 class for wheelchair racers features Mark Braun of Mounds View, a multiple state champion at Irondale High School, and Park Rapids native Aaron Pike, a 2012 Paralympian.
Eric Johnson of Montevideo, who won a javelin title at the 2013 national championships, will compete in the 100, 200 and long jump (T44 class).
Four-time Paralympic gold medalist Paul Nitz, an Edina native who now lives in Minnetrista, will race in the 100, 200 and 400 (T52 class).
All-session passes for the meet are $15 at the gate.
• Gophers defenseman Ryan Collins earned an invitation to the U.S. national junior evaluation camp. The sophomore from Bloomington, Minn., will be one of 39 players, including three other Minnesotans, competing for a roster spot on the U.S. team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland.
Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Jack Dougherty (St. Paul), WHL forward Paul Bittner (Crookston), and incoming North Dakota forward Brock Boeser (Burnsville) are also among the invitees who will train in Lake Placid, New York, Aug. 1-8.
• Megan Gaard was named St. Catherine's athletic facilities coordinator and assistant tennis coach. She recently completed a two-year term as an MIAC assistant director.