Game 836 | January 23 | Torii Hunter, Kurt Suzuki, Cory Provus
Hunter, who announced his retirement at the end of the 2015 season, wanted to finish his career where he started it, in Minnesota. He had 22 home runs and 81 runs batted in while bringing fun and inspiration to the Twins clubhouse. Suzuki caught 131 games with 50 RBIs and a .240 batting average. Twins radio broadcaster Cory Provus served as the emcee.
Game 837 | February 19 | Dr. Michael Stuart
Dr. Stuart, a Mayo Clinic physician, was the team physician for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey team. His three sons all have played in the National Hockey League. Dr. Stuart talked about research into collisions and concussions as well as changes in both rules and equipment that should bring added safety to all contact sports.
Game 838 | March 4 | MGEN Rick Nash, USA
Gen. Nash, a Dunkers member, was joined by 10 soldiers and airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who sat at each table. Gen. Nash outlined the significant roles played by Minnesota Reservists who have been frequently activated to support combat missions in military operations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Gen. Nash also outlined how inextricably linked the Minnesota National Guard is with many Dunkers in the local business, sports and educational communities.
Game 839 | March 17 | Don Lucia
Accompanied by senior forward Seth Ambroz, Coach Lucia talked about rebuilding a team that finished second in the nation the year before and sent a half dozen players on to the National Hockey League. The 2014-15 Gophers, in their 15th year under Lucia, won both the Big Ten Regular Season and Championship titles. They lost 4-1 to Minnesota Duluth in the NCAA first-round games with Ambroz scoring the only Gopher goal in his final game.
Game 840| March 26| Joel Johnson
Sitting in for head coach Brad Frost, Coach Johnson and eight of his players talked about winning the NCAA National Title for the third time in the last four years. The Gophers defeated Harvard 4-1 after beating Wisconsin 3-1 in the semi-finals. The team finished with a 34-3-4 record, and has a 147-10-7 record while dominating women's college hockey over the last four years. All American Rachel Ramsey was joined at the Dunkers meeting by teammates Sydney Baldwin, Rachel Bona, Amanda LeVeille, Milica McMillen, Kelly Pannek, Sidney Peters and Nina Rodgers.
Game 841 | April 9 | Dave Stead
The Minnesota State High School League celebrated its lOOth year in 2015. Dunker member Dave Stead, the League's Executive Director since 1988, talked about milestones in the League's history and its efforts to stay current and relevant. He talked about the growth in lacrosse and soccer as well as the rapid increase in robotics and trap shooting. The League celebrated its anniversary with the publication of a coffee table book, 100 YEARS OF MEMORIES. Dave invited WCCO's Mike Max to talk about the state of sports in Minnesota high schools, and Dave also had his senior staff talk about their duties and responsibilities.
Game 842 | April 29 | Paul Molitor, Terry Ryan
Named to replace the fired Ron Gardenhire, Molitor's team finished second in the A.L. Central with an 83-79 record. At season's end Molitor finished third in the voting for A.L. Manager of the Year. The team was sparked by the arrival of Miguel Sano who finished third in voting for A. L. Rookie of the Year while hitting 18 home runs over the second half of the season after his recall from Double A Chattanooga. Ryan talked about the depth in the Twins farm system that included Sano, Eddie Rosario, Jose Barrios, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler.
Game 843 | May 7 | Rick Spielman
The Ohio native and father of the state's top-ranked high school football player, Spielman joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 and was promoted to General Manager in 2012. He talked to Dunkers about the drafting of Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes and UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks in the first two rounds of the draft the week before he appeared at Dunkers. He also focused on the significance of the return of running back Adrian Peterson and the maturing of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Later in the fall, his son, Eden Prairie's J.D. Spielman, verbally committed to play football at Nebraska.
Game 844 | May 21 | Lou Nanne, Murray Williamson, Doc Nagobads,
John Harrington, Joe Schmit
The four speakers reminisced about the growth and development of hockey in Minnesota and the contributions of Minnesotans to U.S. Olympic teams over the yea1'S. Topics ranged from John Mariucci to Herb Brooks and the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal team. Nanne, a Gopher legend, played for and was the coach and general manager of the Minnesota North Stars. Williamson, a Gopher All American, coached the U.S. National teams in the World Championships in 1967, 1969 and 1971, and coached the U.S. Olympic team in 1968 and 1972. Doc Nagobads, age 94, was chosen by Brooks to be the team physician for the 1980 Olympic winners at Lake Placid. Harrington passed his 1980 gold medal around the room, instantly creating a cell-phone photo flurry of activity. He joined the meeting shortly after being named head coach of Minnesota State Mankato's women's hockey team. Dunker Joe Schmit led the discussion.
Game 845 | June 11 | John Carlson, Michele Redman
The Gopher golf coaches talked about the challenges of filling rosters balanced with Minnesotans and recruits from around the world. Carlson, a native of Bagley, Minnesota, joined the Gophers in 2010 after three years as assistant pro at Wayzata Country Club. Redman became coach of the women's program in 2011. A 20-year pro and Solheim Cup competitor, she ranks 27th in all-time winnings on the LPGA tour.
Game 846 | June 19 | Mike Zimmer
Zimmer became the ninth head coach in Vikings history when he succeeded Leslie Frazier before the start of the 2014 season. A 20-year NFL assistant at Dallas, Atlanta and Cincinnati, Zimmer said he looked for improvement in 2015 from his first-year team which finished 7-9 without suspended running back Adrian Peterson.
Game 847 | July 16 | Cheryl Reeve, Lindsay Whalen
Three months after their appearance at Dunkers, Coach Reeve and point guard Whalen celebrated the Lynx third WNBA title in the past five years. Reeve's Lynx teams have a 140-64 record under her leadership. Whalen returned to her native Minnesota in a 2010 trade with the Connecticut Sun. She won a gold medal for the United States in the 2012 Olympics and said she hoped to be chosen for the 2016 team.
Game 848 | July 30, 2015 | David Graham
The 69-year-old Australian, here to compete in the 3M Championship, told Dunkers of being encouraged to switch from being a left-handed golfer in his early teens. The change paid off with 38 professional wins including the 1981 U.S. Open and the 1979 PGA Championship. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.
Game 849 | August 6, 2015 | Jerry Kill
Coach Kill spoke with great enthusiasm about the start of his fifth season as Gopher head coach. A little more than two months later, he announced his retirement after the return of seizures that had caused him to take a brief leave of absence during the 2013 season. After leading the Gophers to eight-win seasons in both 2013 and 2014, Coach Kill finished his Gopher career with a 29-29 record.
Game 850 | September 2 | David Pasch, Brian Griese, Joe Schmit
The ESPN broadcasters, in town to cover the Gophers' season opener against number two ranked TCU, told Dunkers about how they prepare for games. They shared their "keys to the game" and how to watch a game for early signs of failures and successes by both the offense and defense. Once again, Joe Schmit led the discussion.
Game 851 | October 1 | Corey Koskie, Jim Thompson
The Positive Coaching Alliance was started by Thompson in 1998 as a non profit focused on youth sports to produce "better athletes, better people." The organization has quickly become national in reach and aims to work with 20 million young athletes by 2020. Dunker Deborah Edwards heads the organization in Minnesota where she has enlisted a number of former high profile athletes such as Twins third baseman Corey Koskie whose career was cut short by concussions.
Game 852 | October 8 | Patrick Hunt
As the General Chairman of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Patrick Hunt shared anecdotes about what makes the Ryder cup such a special event. The Ryder Cup will attract national and international guests to Hazeltine while creating an economic impact that could surpass the upcoming 2018 Super Bowl and 2019 Men's Final Four. U.S. Captain Davis Love III named Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Steve Strickler as his vice captains for the event to be held September 27-October 2.
Game 853 | October 20 | Chuck Fletcher
Fletcher became general manager of the Minnesota Wild in 2009. He took Dunkers inside the life of a general manager with insights into working with a salary cap, negotiating with free agents and working with the National Hockey League to equalize budgets across two countries in light of a rapidly falling Canadian dollar. The 1990 Harvard graduate demonstrated some of the skills needed to navigate in a rapidly changing sports environment.
Annual Meeting 2015 | December 10 | Sid Hartman and Dave Mona
Sid Hartman and Dave Mona, the co-hosts of the WCCO Radio Sunday Sports Huddle, represent a combined 90 years of Dunkers membership. In what has become a Dunkers tradition, they conducted a dozen rapid-fire interviews with leaders of Twin Cities sports teams and directors of upcoming special events.