To our readers: Thank you for taking part in our Mailbag this week. Star Tribune beat writers are fielding questions about the teams they cover and you ask them here.
@quick13: When are @GopherWGym coaches going to get extensions?? They had one of the most successful seasons in history of program and nothing from [AD Mark] Coyle. He has time to reassure [an] abysmal [men’s] basketball [coach]. Why not great Gymnastics?
Jenny Hansen has done a tremendous job in her six seasons as Gophers head coach developing gymnasts such as Lindsay Mable and Lexy Ramler. But she’s not nearly as likely to go elsewhere as is Richard Pitino.
Hansen’s roots are deep in the program. She competed for the Gophers from 2000-03, later was a volunteer assistant. Now she’s made a home here with a husband and two sons.
And the huge, lucrative contracts for gymnastics coaches just aren’t out there as they are in men’s basketball which leads to a lot of churn.
Oklahoma’s K.J. Kindler is believed to be the highest paid among women’s gymnastics college coaches. Last year, according to The Oklahoman, the coach who has led the Sooners to four national titles got an extension to 2025 with a raise of $120,000, which put her annual salary at $450,000, including private funds and a stay benefit.
Not bad but far from the millions the top men’s basketball coaches make.
The seasons were cut short, but there were athletes who should have caught our eye, right?
Here are eight Gophers spring athletes who had breakout performances in their abbreviated seasons (those in track and field actually never got outside, but they competed indoors and even that season got cut short):
Baseball: Trent Schoeberl, a 6-5 freshman righthander from White Bear Lake. He was 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA -- only Max Meyer's ERA was lower and he is going to be first round draft pick. Schoeberl struck out 17 and walked eight in 19.2 innings. Batters hit only .191 off him.
Softball: Autumn Pease, righthanded sophomore pitcher from Murrieta (Calif.) Mesa H.S. who pitched at Idaho St. last season. She was 4-2 with a 2.12 ERA and had superb control; 62 Ks, 10 Ws in 59.1 inn. Opponents hit .208 against her.
Men's golf: Junior Angus Flanagan of Woking, England. He went 3-0 in Big Ten Match Play tournament in Palm Coast, Fla. Was named to international team for Arnold Palmer Cup July 3-5 at Lahinch GC, Ireland. Had 69.3 stroke average in five fall tournaments.
Women's golf: Freshman Annabelle Ackroyd of Calgary, Alberta. She was Gophers best finisher in last two spring tournaments, placing seventh with a 4-over 220 in one tournament and then 23rd. A two-time Alberta Junior champion.
Men's tennis: Senior Stefan Milicevic of Belgrade, Serbia, led Gophers to 8-3 record; he was 14-8, including 7-4 in dual meets at No. 1 singles. Was 3-2 vs. nationally ranked players with a win over then-No. 8 player in countty.
Women's tennis: Redshirt freshman Dalila Said from Cairo, Egypt. She was at Georgia Tech, had ACL injury there last season and transferred. She was 9-2 in singles, 5-2 at No. 1 singles, and 8-3 in doubles. Helped U to 12-3 record. Won last six matches.
Men's track & field (indoors): Redshirt senior Sammie Houston of Eden Prairie H.S. won Big Ten indoor title in triple jump with a leap of 53-1, a program record. He had ninth best triple jump going into national indoor meet which was never held.
Women's track and field (indoors): Bethany Hasz, a redshirt junior from Alexandria. She was second in 3,000, third in mile, seventh in 5,000 at Big Ten indoor meet. Was named Midwest women's track athlete of year. In Boston on Dec. 7, Hasz ran a program indoor record of 15:25.33 in 5,000. That was fifth best time in nation this indoor season.
This is quite a diverse group. Three are Minnesotans, from Eden Prairie, White Bear Lake and Alexandria, one is a California, and four others come from different countries: Canada, Egypt, England and Serbia.