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Bethel's Steve Johnson on Monday was named the NCAA Division III coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association.

Completing his 34th season of coaching, Johnson led the MIAC's Royals to a 10-3 mark that included an 11th NCAA tournament appearance and a trip to the national quarterfinals.

Johnson received the honor for the first time.

Tommies football 20th

St. Thomas finished 20th in the final American Football Coaches Association Top 25 FCS poll.

The Tommies (10-1, 8-0) won their final 10 games of 2022 while winning their first Pioneer Football League championship. They were not eligible for the postseason as they continue their transition to Division I status.

South Dakota State and North Dakota State finished 1-2 in the poll. SDSU will celebrate its national championship at 5 p.m. Tuesday during a public event at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, S.D.

Lou Branca dies

Lou Branca, who coached baseball at Rochester John Marshall for 20 years and is a member of the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, died on Friday.

Branca, who lived in Rochester, was 94.

He grew up in South St. Paul, spent two years in the Navy and played two years for the Duluth Dukes in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system before graduating from St. Cloud State.

After college, Branca coached at Cleveland, Minn., and Faribault, Minn., before moving to Rochester in 1966.

He was elected to the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.


Gophers men's hockey No. 2

The Gophers men's hockey team climbed from No. 3 to No. 2 in the latest poll, trailing only Quinnipiac, which displaced Denver at No. 1. St. Cloud State, Denver and Penn State rounded out the top five. Minnesota State Mankato was tied for 17th.

Gophers women's hockey No. 3

The Gophers women's hockey team climbed from No. 5 to No. 3 in the latest poll, trailing No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Yale. Quinnipiac and Colgate rounded out the top five.

With its series sweep at Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth climbed from eighth to sixth. The Badgers fell from No. 2 to No. 8.

St. Cloud State was 14th.

• Gophers forward Grace Zumwinkle was named WCHA forward of the week after recording seven points in a pair of victories in the East/West Showcase at Ridder Arena. On Saturday, in an 8-1 win over New Hampshire, Zumwinkle had a career-high four assists and six points while becoming the sixth Gopher in program history to score 100 career goals.