Game 542 | January 22 | Tim Tschida
Always a popular guest, Tschida this time talked about how umpires define a strike zone and how to call a game in a manner that encourages hitters to swing at the ball. He said that umpires would continue to resist instant replay and described the "replay bounce," when fans react loudly and often negatively to replays that are shown on televisions in concession areas.
Game 543 | February 24 | Sam Mitchell
One of the original Minnesota Timberwolves, Mitchell played forward for the team from 1989-1992, was traded to Indianapolis, and returned to play from 1995-2002. An on-court mentor to the young Kevin Garnett, Mitchell's teaching skills were obvious during his playing career. After his retirement as a player he joined the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach, moved to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats as their top assistant and moved again to the Toronto Raptors, where he became head coach in 2004.
Game 544 | March 5 | John Anderson, Hormel Classic Baseball Coaches
Number one ranked Florida State, number 12 Wichita State and the University of Washington provided one of the toughest fields in the history of this pre-season tournament. Coach John Anderson's Gophers finished the season 46-18 and lost to Baylor in NCAA post-season regional play. Four Gophers, Brad Pautz, Robb Quinlan, Matt Scanlon and Frank Wagner, were all selected in that year's Major League baseball draft.
Game 545 | April 20 | Frank Gilliam
The Minnesota Vikings were nonparticipants in the NFL draft in the early 1990s because of the Herschel Walker trade. By the end of the decade, the draft played a major role in reshaping and rebuilding the team. As the team's Vice President of Player Personnel, Gilliam worked with coach Dennis Green on the decision to draft Randy Moss with the team's first pick in the 1998 draft and Daunte Culpepper in the first found in 1999. Gilliam explained to Dunkers how the team evaluated college talent and prepared for the draft.
Game 546 | April 28 | Doug Mientkiewicz, Torii Hunter,
The Twins, in Kelly's 13th year as manager, went with yet another youth movement and took a step back in 1999, finishing 63-97, 33 games out of first place. Mientkiewicz took over first base, hitting .229 with two home runs and 32 RBIs. Hunter established himself as the regular center fielder and hit .255 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs.
Game 547 | May 25 | Brian Agler, Kristen Folkl
The Minnesota Lynx were about to tip off their initial season in the WNBA. Agler, the successful coach of the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League, was hired to coach the new team. Folkl, allocated by the league to the Lynx in September 1998, made dozens of promotional appearances and averaged 4.9 points per game as the team finished 15-17 in its first season.
Game 548 | June 29 | Jerry Seeman
Never giving up his Twin Cities home, Seeman, Senior Director of Officials in the National Football League from 1991-2001, lived in a one-bedroom cooperative in New York City during each football season so he could spend virtually his entire time at league headquarters. A former official himself, Seeman personally handled calls from coaches and general managers unhappy with various calls and interpretations made by Seeman's direct reports. When he retired after the 2001 season, he was replaced by two people and was praised by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue for his tireless service.
Game 549 | July 21 | Dana Quigley
For the second time in three years Hale Irwin won the popular Champion's Tour event at Bunker Hills. Leonard Thompson won in 1998, and Irwin won for a third time in 2002 as the event moved to the TPC Twin Cities course in Blaine. Quigley, a career club professional whose career took off when he became a senior golfer at age 50, spoke at Dunkers. He won 11 Champion's Tour events between 1997-2006.
Game 550 | August 24 | Glen Mason
Things came together for the Gopher football team in 1999. They won their first four games, finished the season 8-4 and lost 24-20 to 12th ranked Oregon in the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl. They lost in overtime to Wisconsin, lost by three points at 6th ranked Ohio State, lost by five to 18th ranked Purdue and upset previously undefeated Penn State, ranked number 2 in the nation, 24-23 on a last-second field goal by Dan Nystrom. The Gophers finished the season number 18 in the AP rankings.
Game 551 | August 31 | Red McCombs, Dennis Green
The Minnesota Vikings were coming off perhaps their best and most disappointing year in history. After a perfect 4-0 preseason, the team breezed through its schedule with a 15-1 record, best in Vikings history. With Randall Cunningham passing, Robert Smith running and Randy Moss and Cris Carter receiving, the Vikings were heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl. They easily beat Arizona 41-21 in the Divisional playoffs, but lost to Atlanta 30-27 in overtime at the Metrodome in the NFC Championship game. It was Green's eighth year as head coach and the second under Mc-Combs' ownership.
Game 552 | September 15 | Mike Hebert, Sue Montagne
When Women's Soccer was added as a varsity sport at the University of Minnesota in 1993, Sue Montagne was named head coach. She held that position through 1999, winning Big Ten championships for the Gophers in 1995 and 1997. Hebert, already a top coach at Illinois, came to Minnesota as head volleyball coach in 1996. His 1999 team made NCAA post-season play for the third time in four years, making it to the Sweet Sixteen. Hebert was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Nicole Branagh and Lindsey Berg both were named first-team All Big Ten, and both played for the United States in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Game 553 | September 29 | Wally Szczerbiak, William Avery,
The Timberwolves had two of the top 14 picks in the first round of the 1999 NBA draft. Owner Taylor introduced Miami of Ohio's Szczerbiak, taken with the sixth pick, and Duke guard Avery, the 14th selection. Szczerbiak had seven productive seasons with the Timberwolves, averaging in double figures each year. Avery played three years for the Timberwolves, averaging 2.7 points per game.
Game 554 | October 7 | Lute Olson
Olson is a member of the Augsburg College Sports Hall of Fame, and his first two coaching jobs were at Mahnomen and Two Harbors. He was the head coach at Iowa from 197 4-1983 when he left the Big Ten to become the head coach at Arizona where he took his team to five Final Four appearances before retiring in 2008.
Game 555 | October 27 | Don Lucia
In April1999 Lucia was named to succeed Doug Woog as Gopher hockey coach. He came to Minnesota from Colorado College where he led that team to its first WCHA title in 37 years. A standout high school player at Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Lucia spent six years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks before taking the job at Colorado.
Game 556 | November 11 | Dan Monson
Minnesota faced a massive rebuilding task after the Haskins-induced scandal. Monson, the young Gonzaga coach who had led his team to victory over a depleted Gopher team in NCAA Tourney play, was brought in to take over the program. The team, led by Dusty Rychart, Joel Przybilla and Terrance Simmons, finished 12-16 and lOth in the Big Ten.
Game 557 | November 17 | Doug Riserbrough
A first-round pick of the Montreal Canadians in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft, Risebrough won four consecutive Stanley Cups as a player with Montreal from 1976-1979. Prior to joining the Minnesota Wild as the team's First Vice President and General Manager, Risebrough, as Vice President of Hockey Operations, had taken his Edmonton Oilers into three straight years of Stanley Cup playoffs after missing the playoffs four straight years before his arrival.