Game 595 | January 4 | Annual Meeting
Annual Meeting: Sid Hartman and Dave Mona did a reprise of their WCCO Radio Sports Huddle format by doing short interviews with the management of all four major professional teams as well as University of Minnesota teams.
Game 596 | February 7 | Herb Brooks
This was the final Dunkers appearance for Brooks, who was back doing what he loved best, coaching the U.S. Olympic Hockey team. The 2002 team, featuring professional players, took a Silver Medal at the games in Salt Lake City. Eighteen months later he was killed in a one-car crash near Forest Lake, Minnesota, when he apparently fell asleep while driving home from a speaking appearance. He had just celebrated his 66th birthday and was working as an advisor on the movie, Miracle, which featured the Brooks-coached 1980 U.S. Olympic Gold-Medal winning team.
Game 597 | March 1 | John Anderson, Hormel Classic Baseball Coaches
Once again John Anderson's baseball Gophers won the Big Ten title in 2002. Luke Appert was named Big Ten Player of the Year, and C.J. Woodrow was named Conference Pitcher of the Year: Dunker guests included visiting coaches from Florida Atlantic, Alabama and Tennessee.
Game 598 | March 14 | Mike Tice
The popular former tight end took over as interim Vikings coach when Dennis Green was fired before the final game of the 2001 season. Tice was named head coach in January 2002 and held the job through the end of the 2005 season. In Tice's final season as head coach the team's record improved a single win, from 5-11 in 2001 to 6-10 in 2002.
Game 599 | April 12 | Bill Curry
A graduate of Georgia Tech, Curry played pro football from 1965-1974 for Green Bay, Houston, Baltimore and Los Angeles. He was the starting center for the Packers in Super Bowl I and for Baltimore in Super Bowl V. He was the head coach at Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky. Since 1996 he has served as a lead college football analyst for ESPN, and he was named in 2008 to be the head coach of the Georgia State University team, which is set to begin play in 2010.
Game 600 | April 18 | Ron Gardenhire, Rick Anderson
A successful minor league manager and 11-year coach under Tom Kelly, Gardenhire was named manager in January 2002 after Kelly retired. The young team responded well to Gardenhire, winning the A.L. Central with a record of 94-67. Anderson, who had worked with Gardenhire at the minor league level, was named pitching coach three days after Gardenhire was named manager.
Game 601 | June 13 | Pam Borton
A graduate of Deftance (Ohio) College, Borton was chosen to build on the success Brenda Oldfteld had started the year before. In her first year she led the team to a 26-5 record, second place in the Big Ten and into the NCAA Tournament where they made it to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. Junior guard Lindsay Whalen led the team in scoring with 639 points.
Game 602 | June 25 | Brad James, Gopher Golfers
Less than a year after overcoming a recommendation to abolish the Gopher golf program, first-year head coach James led the team to the NCAA title, the first northern team to accomplish that since Ohio State in 1979. Joining coach James at Dunkers were team members Matt Anderson, Justin Smith, David Morgan and Simon Nash.
Game 603 | August 7 | Bill Rogers
Winner of the 1981 British Open, Rogers made a comeback to competitive golf when he reached the age of 50 in 2001. He appeared at Dunkers in conjunction with his appearance at Blaine's TPC course to compete in the 3M Championship, which was won that year by veteran Hale Irwin.
Game 604 | August 15 | Joel Maturi
A native of Chisholm, Minnesota, Joel Maturi was selected to unify the Gopher men's and women's athletic departments after the departures of Tom Moe and Chris Voelz. He inherited a department with a projected $31 million deficit and the dream of bringing football back home to campus. He had been the Athletic Director at Miami of Ohio and spent 10 years as an Assistant AD at Wisconsin.
Game 605 | September 10 | Ernie Harwell
After 55 years in sports broadcasting, Ernie Harwell announced he planned to retire at the end of the 2002 season. He spent the last 42 years of his Hall-of-Fame career as the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Tigers. He returned to Minnesota in early April 2007 to speak at the funeral of his long-time friend, Twins broadcaster Herb Carneal.
Game 606 | September 24 | Al Nuness, McKinley Boston
Following his tenure as Athletic Director and Vice President at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Boston worked with the Minneapolis Park Board on a program to rebuild youth athletic programs on the city's playgrounds and at the junior high school level. One of his biggest supporters was Nuness, former Gopher basketball star and long-time executive at Josten's.
Game 607 | October 11 | Glen Mason
In Coach Mason's sixth year the team finished 8-5 and played in the Music City Bowl, where they defeated a favored Arkansas team 29-14. The Gophers were led that season by the passing of quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq, the receiving of All-American tight end Ben Utecht and the running and blocking of Thomas Tepeh.
Game 608 | October 17 | Laura Halldorson
Coming off a third-place finish in the NCAA Final Four the year before, Coach Halldorson's team made it back to the Final Four in 2002-03 and finished fourth, losing to Harvard and Dartmouth. Highlight of the season for the team was their move from Mariucci Arena into the new Ridder Arena, the biggest and best women's college hockey arena in the country. Ronda Curtin and Natalie Darwitz led the team, which was hampered by the mid-season loss of freshman star Krissy Wendell with a broken collarbone.
Game 609 | October 29 | Doug Risebrough
Paced by the scoring of Marion Gaborik, Pascal DuPuis and Cliff Ronning, the Minnesota Wild, with Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson alternating in goal, finished 42-29-10-1, setting a record in points for the third-year team. Risebrough, the team's president and general manager, said he had high expectations for top draft choice Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Game 610 | November 12 | Don Lucia
Coming off a National Championship season, Lucia's hockey Gophers were expected to go through a rebuilding process. On the contrary, the team finished 28-8-9 and won a second straight Frozen Four, this time defeating New Hampshire 5-1 in Buffalo, N.Y Newcomer Thomas Vanek became the first freshman since 1969-70 to lead the team in scoring with 31 goals and 31 assists. Troy Riddle, Keith Ballard and Matt Koalska shared the / scoring load, and defenseman Paul Martin was named second team All American.
Game 611 | December 3 | Dan Monson
In his fourth season as Gopher basketball coach, Monson took his team to the final four of the NIT Tournament in New York where they lost to both Georgetown and Texas Tech after finishing sixth in the Big Ten for the second year in a row. Maurice Hargrow, Jerry Holman, Michael Bauer and Rick Rickart were the team's top scorers, and Rickart left for the NBA draft at the end of his sophomore season.