SEASON: 32 | YEAR: 1980
HEAD COACH: DAVE MONA


Game 274 | February 5 | Earl Weaver

In 1979, Weaver's 12th year of managing the Baltimore Orioles, his team won the American League pennant before losing to Pittsburgh in a seven-game World Series. Mike Flanagan won 23 games, and Ken Singleton had a career-best year, batting .295 with 35 home runs and lll RBIs. Future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray hit .295 with 25 homers and 99 RBIs.


Game 275 | February 26 | Jim Dutcher, Kevin McHale, Randy Breuer

The Gophers went 21-11 in the 1979-80 season. They were disappointed in not being invited to play in the NCAA post-season tourney, but accepted a bid to the NIT where they won four games before losing to Ralph Sampson's Virginia team in the finals. Hibbing-native McHale, in his final season, averaged 17.4 points per game while Lake City freshman Breuer averaged 7.7.


Game 276 | April 24 | Doug Corbett, Sal Butera

The Twins finished 19 games out of first in 1980, drawing only 769,000 fans in their next-to-last season at Metropolitan Stadium. Gene Mauch lost his job in mid season, being replaced by Johnny Goryl. Corbett was the star of the relief staff, winning eight games and saving 23, with an earned run average of 1.99. Butera was a seldom-used backup catcher who was very popular with the fans.


Game 277 | May 2 | George Steinbrenner

A "close personal friend" of Sid Hartman's, Yankee owner Steinbrenner traced his career from graduate assistant to Ohio State's legendary Woody Hayes to Great Lakes shipping magnate to his decision to purchase the Yankees for $10 million in 1973. Under his ownership, the Yankees, floundering at the time of his purchase, won 10 American League pennants and six World Series titles over the next 25 years.


Game 278 | May 9 | Herb Brooks

The St. Paul native took leave from his position as Gopher hockey coach to put together a team to represent the United States in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. That team's February victory over the dominant Russian team was forever memorialized by TV announcer AI Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles?" That accomplishment was named the top U.S. Sporting Event of the 20th Century, and Brooks shared a number of inside stories with the Dunkers.


Game 279 | June 25 | Dan Brutger

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission was formed in 1977 to conceptualize and build the Metrodome in Downtown Minneapolis. Brutger chaired that commission from 1977-1983 and oversaw an effort that brought it in on time and within its $55 million budget when it opened for baseball in 1982. Brutger and Jerry Bell, long-time Dunker and eventual president of the Minnesota Twins, are the two people most often credited with the successful construction of the Metrodome.


Game 280 | October 3 | Jim Langer

Nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career as a National Football League center, Langer was traded to the Minnesota Vikings before the 1980 season. The Little Falls native played two seasons for the Vikings before retiring. Langer became the Miami Dolphins starting center in 1972 and played in 141 consecutive games before suffering a knee injury in 1979. During a six-year stretch he was named All-Pro four times and second-team All-Pro twice. He was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987.


Game 281 | October 9 | Lou Nanne, Paul Smymr, Al MacAdam

The Minnesota North Stars continued to improve in 1980-81, finishing with a 35-28-17 record. MacAdam was third in scoring behind Bobby Smith and Tim Young, and Shmyr, a 34-year-old veteran, anchored a much-improved defense. That team made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, losing in five games to the New York Islanders.


Game 282 | October 24 | Donna DeVarona, Roy Griak

Only 13 at the time, De Varona was the youngest swimmer to compete at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Four years later she won gold medals in the 400-meter individual medley and as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay. She became the first national female sportscaster in history when she signed with ABC in 1965, and she served as the first president of the Women's Sports Foundation from 1976-1984. Griak coached Gopher cross-country and track and f1eld from 1963 -1996. When he retired, the Minnesota Invitational, the nation's largest annual cross country meet, was renamed the Griak Invitational.


Game 283 | November 14 | Butch Nash, Jeff Schuh

A graduate of Minneapolis Edison and former Gopher football player, Nash was hired as an assistant coach by Bernie Bierman in 1947 and served seven different coaches before retiring in 1984. Schuh, a defensive end, was named first team All Big Ten in 1980.


Game 284 | November 24 | Brad Buetow, Neal Broten,
Steve Ulseth, Mike Knoke

Buetow coached the 1980-81 Gophers to a WCHA title with a season record of 33-12-0. Broten, a member of the 1980 Gold Medal Olympic team, returned to lead the team. At the end of the season he was the first winner of the Robey Baker Award, given annually since 1980 to the top collegiate player in the country. Ulseth, a senior, led the team in scoring with 93 points. Knoke, who started his career at Colorado College, had 48 points.