Some news and notes from the day after John Gagliardi’s retirement announcement.
* According to St. John’s athletic director Tom Stock, nine of the 10 spots on the search commitee charged with hiring a new football coach have already been filled. Joe Mucha, a retired executive at General Mills who was a standout football and basketball player for the Johnnies in the 1960s, will chair the search. Stock will serve as committee secretary.
The other members are Steve Johnson, who led the team in rushing as a senior this past season, Carol Abell, the director of human resources at St. John’s and St. Benedict, Dr. Ken Jones, the faculty athletic representative for the St. John’s athletic department, Rob Culligan, the St. John’s vice president for institutional advancement, Cal Mosley, CSB/SJU vice president for admission and financial aid, Jim Mader, an assistant coach with the Johnnies the past nine seasons who before that won a pair of state titles in 23 seasons as the head coach at Albany High School, and Blake Elliott, the former multitime All-American wide receiver at St. John’s who won the 2003 Gagliardi Trophy honoring Division III’s top player.
Mucha said he hopes the group will meet for the first time Friday, though that will be dependent on people’s schedules over the holiday weekend. But the first meeting will be held by early next week at the latest.
* The job opening is already posted on the school’s Web site. Applications are being accepted immediately with the close date listed as Dec. 7. Stock said Monday that he hoped to have the process completed by Christmas. But Tuesday, he said with Thanksgiving and Christmas looming on the calendar — it’s possible it could take a bit longer, perhaps into early January.
“We want to be quick, but we don’t want to go so fast that we rush it,” Stock said. “It’s important that we get it right.”
Stock said the entire search committee will screen every application, and a pool of finalists — likely not more than two or three — will be brought to campus for a day-long process featuring interviews with the athletic department, the team and an open forum with faculty and staff members and other interested parties.
More on all this in Wednesday’s newspaper.
* As we reported Monday, assistant coach Gary Fasching has already confirmed he will apply for the position. Offensive coordinator Jim Gagliardi said his inclination is that he will not. And Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant said he is interested in the job if the school is interested in him.
* The All-MIAC football team was announced Tuesday and three Johnnies were named to the first team: Junior center Kevin Battis, senior defensive lineman Connor Grill and senior kicker Jimmie Mattson.
Junior offensive tackle Jack Hedlund and Johnson were named to the second team. Sophomore wide receiver Rob Voshell, junior tackle Pete Schwarz, freshman wide receiver Josh Bungum and senior linebacker Taylor Dammermann were honorable mention selections. Senior quarterback John Ries was named to the all-sportsmanship team.
Fischer led the MIAC in interceptions (seven) and pass breakups (eight) for the second straight season. Grill led the Johnnies in tackles for a loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5). And Mattson led the conference in both points among kickers (70) and field goals (nine).
Concordia senior running back Brett Baune was named MIAC MVP. Cobbers senior offensive lineman Tom Knowlton was named coach of the year. And St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso, whose team claimed its third-straight MIAC title, was named coach of the year.