St. Olaf athletic director Ryan Bowles died on Wednesday from cancer at age 45.

"Ryan was a cherished friend and valued member of our senior leadership team who led with passion for athletics and a St. Olaf education," St. Olaf President Susan Rundell Singer said in a statement. "He cared deeply about the holistic student experience, celebrating academic achievements and student leadership. We mourn the loss of his wisdom, enthusiasm, and insights.

In Bowles' nine years, Oles teams won 15 MIAC championships and appeared in 41 NCAA championships, highlighted by the men's soccer team winning the Division III national title in December. The women's Nordic skiing team also won four U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association team national championships.

Said Kelly Mahlum, Oles deputy AD and senior woman administrator: "Ryan's love for his family was first and foremost. The passion he had for sports was shared by his family and was evident in their daily lives, and I witnessed his love for our Oles on a daily basis. Much of what an athletic director does is behind the scenes of the practices, game days, and celebrations. I do not believe Ryan ever saw it as work — he felt it as a calling and a purpose. We will continue to honor Ryan's imprint on Ole athletics and share our support to uplift Ryan's wife, Sarah, and his son, Tom."

A Maryland native, Bowles was named AD in July 2015 after serving as an associate athletic director at Maryland. He was a four-year letterwinner in men's soccer at McDaniel College, a Division III program in Westminster Md. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from McDaniel.


PWHL Minnesota signings

PWHL Minnesota announced the re-signing of three players from its Walter Cup championship team. Forwards Michela Cava, Denisa Křížová and Liz Schepers agreed to one-year contract extensions, with Cava — who tied for the team lead with eight points (five goals, three assists) during the postseason — and Schepers signed for 2024-25 and Křížová committed through 2025-26 after her initial two-year deal.

In addition, the team announced it had signed its second- and third-round draft picks, forwards Britta Curl of Wisconsin and Klára Hymlárová of St. Cloud State.

U baseball hires

New Gophers baseball coach Ty McDevitt completed his coaching staff by hiring Connor Gandossy and Sean Moore as assistant coaches.

Gandossy, who will focus on hitters and catchers, spent seven seasons as hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Creighton. Moore spent the 2024 as director of player development at Iowa, his alma mater; before that, he spent five seasons as an assistant at Penn State.

U gymnastics practice

The Gophers gymnastics team is holding a voluntary practice, open to spectators, from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday at Peik Gym. The practice is timed with the start of the 2024 U.S. Olympic team trials at Target Center.

"For all the gymnastics fans heading into town next week, we would love for you to come and spend the day in our gym to watch our student-athletes train," Gophers coach Jenny Hansen said.

The Gophers finished second at this year's Big Ten championships with a score of 197.500 and advanced to the NCAA regional finals for the third time in four seasons.