ALCC hosts 12th Annual Williams Fund event

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Men’s athletic director Tom Moe declared the University of Minnesota has the finest group of coaching staffs in the Big Ten Conference, and he had the statistics to back it up.

Five Big Ten championships. Three national titles. Eleven varsity teams, and only three finishing lower than second in the conference.

But it was Moe’s last statement that prompted applause. The University was No. 1 Big Ten during the past school year in terms of overall success of men’s and women’s athletic teams.

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&uot;It was just an outstanding year in athletics at the U of M,&uot; said Moe.

His comments came Monday evening at Albert Lea Country Club during the 12th Annual Williams Fund Golf Outing.

This past year was not only a success for the Gophers, this year’s Williams Fund event was the most successful ever in Albert Lea, with approximately $10,000 raised for the University’s scholarship fund.

With the Gophers’ men’s and women’s athletic departments combining, Moe was speaking for the final time at ALCC in his current position and he addressed several topics, some of them passionately.

&uot;We’ve got coaches who are second to none,&uot; said Moe. &uot;What we need is a commitment to do the ‘extra’ things.&uot;

Moe also wants to see a stadium built exclusively for the Gophers, something he called a cornerstone to other successful programs.

&uot;You can’t have a successful revenue generator without your own football stadium,&uot; said Moe. &uot;We can’t accept it anymore; the citizens of Minnesota need to get that message across to legislators.

&uot;Our goal, ultimately, is to keep pushing forward.&uot;

Men’s swimming and diving coach Dennis Dale talked about the success of his squad, which won a second straight Big Ten title and finished seventh in the NCAA meet.

Assistant coach Mike Peterson spoke on behalf of the men’s basketball team, which saw its Big Ten title hopes slip away with a number of poor performances in the late minutes of games this past season.

Baseball coach John Anderson talked about how his young team that started 2-9 came on to win the regular-season Big Ten title.

The keynote speaker was football coach Glen Mason, who can be described with any number of adjectives: witty, charismatic, entertaining, funny.

&uot;Basketball coaches have the best job,&uot; said Mason in an admitted payback to Monson. &uot;They practice inside and play golf all summer.&uot;

Like Monson’s squad, last season was one of near-misses for the football Gophers, but Mason has at least one reason to believe this will be a breakthrough year: &uot;I’ve always been a very, very lucky coach,&uot; he said. &uot;But I haven’t had much luck in Minnesota the last five years. I’m really thinking all that luck will come through this year and we’ll have a great season.&uot;