Game 558 | January 13 | Michele Tafoya
The California transplant and Edina native moved from CBS to ABC Sports and ESPN in 2000. That year she also married former Gopher baseball player and current Dunker Mark Vandersall.
Game 559 | February 9 | Bobby Knight
The Indiana Hoosiers were in town to play the Gophers en route to a 20-9 record and an appearance in NCAA post-season play. A month after his Minnesota appearance Knight was featured in an unflattering piece on the CNN/SI network. In September, beset by a series of encounters with Indiana President Miles Brand, he resigned after 29 years at Indiana where he had a career record of 661-240.
Game 560 | Febuary 15 | Gopher Women's Coaches
Women's Athletic Director Chris Voelz introduced head coaches in three women's sports --basketball, hockey and gymnastics. Cheryl Littlejohn coached the basketball team from 1997-2001. Laura Halldorson launched the hockey program in 1996 and held the top job for the next 11 years. Husband and wife team, Jim and Meg Stephenson, came to Minnesota in 1982 and continued to coach the gymnastics team through the 2008 season.
Game 561 | March 3 | John Anderson, Hormel Classic Baseball Coaches
Teams from Georgia, Notre Dame and Wake Forest provided the early season competition for John Anderson's baseball Gophers. The team went on to win its 18th Big Ten title. The team was led by pitchers Mike Kobow and Ben Birk, along with Jack Hannahan, Josh Holthaus and Luke Appert.
Game 562 | March 23 | Glen Mason
The football Gophers made it back-t0o-back bowl appearances in 2QOO.The team finished 6-6 for the season and lost 38-30 in-the Micronpc.com Bowl to North Carolina State. Tellis Redmon rushed for 1,368 yards, and Ron Johnson set a team record with 61 receptions for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Game 563 | April 6 | Tom Kelly, Corey Koskie, Eric Milton
The Twins' fortunes improved modestly in 2000, with the team winning six more games than the year before. Milton, who came to the Twins in a trade that sent Chuck Knoblauch to the Yankees, led the pitching staff with a 13-10 record while Koskie played solidly at third base, hitting .300 with nine home runs and 65 RBIs.
Game 564 | April 27 | Gopher Women's Hockey National Champions
Compiling a record of 32-6-1, Laura Halldorson's 1999-00 team did something no other Gopher women's team had ever done before in winning the National Championship. Nadine Muzerall scored two goals in the title game against Brown University. Goaltender Erica Killewald was voted the Tournament MVP, and Winny Brodt was voted the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year.
Game 565 | May 12 | Andy MacPhail
The former Twins General Manager, MacPhail added the title of General Manager to his jobs as President and CEO of the Chicago Cubs in 2000. During his tenure with the Cubs he was mentioned frequently as a possible successor to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, but the position never came open as team owners convinced Selig to remain in office.
Game 566 | June 6 | Val Ackerman
The Minnesota Lynx, Minnesota's entry in the newly formed WNBA, started play in 1999 with a victory over the Detroit Shock before an announced crowd of 12,000 at the Target Center. Ackerman, the WNBA's first President, came to town to see the Lynx play in their second season. A four-year starter at the University of Virginia, she combined her love of basketball and law degree to put her in line for the top WNBA job, which she held for the next eight years.
Game 567 | June 27 | Chris Perry
Son of Jim Perry, a Cy Young Award winner for the Minnesota Twins in 1970, Chris Perry joined the PGA Tour in 1998. As a student at Edina High School he won the State High School Championship in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and won both the Minnesota State Amateur and Minnesota State Open in 1984 while a student at Ohio State. In 1999 he ranked fifth on the PGA Tour in earnings with two second-place finishes. His 14 top-10 finishes that year ranked second only to Tiger Woods' 16.
Game 568 | August 3 | Andy North
Raised in Menoma, Wisconsin, North won three tournaments in his career on the PGA Tour, but two of them were U.S. Opens. He won at Cherry Hills in 1978 by one stroke over J.C. Snead and Dave Stockton. In 1985 at Oakland Hills he bogeyed the final hole, but won by a single stroke over Dave Barr, Tze-Chung Chen and Denis Watson. He has been a lead golf analyst on ESPN since 1993.
Game 569 | August 21 | Max McGee, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer
The three Green Bay Packer greats were in town to participate in McGee's annual charity golf event for Juvenile Diabetes. McGee, a one-time Dunker member, was the receiving star of Super Bowl I and an 11-year Packer veteran. Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame, starred for the Packers from 1957-1966. Kramer, a great offensive blocker at right guard, collaborated with Dick Schaap on the best-selling book, Instant Replay.
Game 570 | August 3 | Glen Mason, Karon Riley, Ben Hamilton
On the eve of his fourth season as Gopher football coach, Glen Mason introduced two of his team's top players. Karon Riley, a defensive end, established a Gopher record with 29 sacks in 1999 and 2000. Ben Hamilton, a center; and son of former Vikings lineman Wes Hamilton, was named first-team All American in 2000.
Game 571 | September 29 | Dale Brown
A graduate of tiny Minot State Teachers College, Brown's first coaching job was in Columbus, North Dakota, where he coached basketball, wrestling and track. In 1972 he replaced Press Maravich (Pete's father) as head basketball coach at Louisiana State University. He became the winningest coach in LSU history over the next 25 years and took his teams to two Final Four appearances. When he spoke to Dunkers he had just returned from China where he said he saw 3,000 young basketball players who were all 7 feet or taller. He predicted China would emerge in the next decade as a major basketball power.
Game 572 | October 19 | Bob Kurtz, Barry Buetel
A Detroit native, Kurtz spent seven seasons as the main television play-by-play announcer of the Minnesota North Stars. He was named radio play-by-play announcer for the Minnesota Wild before the start of the team's inaugural season. Buetel, an Edina native and son of long-time local sports announcer Frank Buetel, did color analysis with Kurtz.
Game 573 | November 8 | Mike Hebert, Gopher Volleyball Players
The Gopher volleyball team had its best year in the program's history up to that time in 2000. Coach Hebert brought along his three top players, Nicole Branaugh, Stephanie Hagen and Lindsey Berg. The team won 30 games and broke Penn State's 87-match home winning streak. The Gophers defeated Robert Morris and Arizona State before losing to UC Santa Barbara in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Branaugh and Berg both won medals in volleyball at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Game 574 | December 1 | Visiting College Basketball Coaches
In an effort to bring more events to Minneapolis the Target Center partnered with the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association to create, "Winter Jam," a tournament featuring four traditionally all-black colleges and universities. Visiting teams included Texas Southern, Alabama State, North Carolina A&T and Coppin State. The event failed to break even and was not repeated in future years.
Game 575 | December 12 | Annual Holiday Meeting
Representatives of all the professional teams as well as the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission shared brief updates on their most pressing issues.