Mitchell, a former Timberwolves player, became interim coach on Sept. 11, 2015 after Coach Flip Saunders left the team for medical reasons. Mitchell was fired after the season ended on April 13, 2016. Jones who played high school basketball at Apple Valley, led Duke to the National Championship as the team's freshman point guard in 2015. He was selected with the 24th pick of the 2015 NBA draft and was traded to the Timberwolves for whom he averaged 4.2 points per game.
Game 855 | January 29 | Trevor Plouffe, John Ryan Murphy, Cory Provus
Optimism was high heading into TwinsFest weekend. Unfortunately, things quickly went south for the 2016 Twins. Plouffe, the incumbent third baseman, spent most of the season on the disabled list and was released at the end of the year. Murphy, obtained in the trade with the New York Yankees for outfielder Aaron Hicks, failed to hit as the backup catcher and spent most of the season at Triple AAA Rochester.
Game 856 | February 16 | Richard Pitino
Game 857 | February 19 | Hockey Stadium Series
Lou Nanne, Brad Maxwell and Brian Bellows told stories of what they were able to get away with on the ice as active players and how much they were looking forward to participating in the North Stars/Blackhawks Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium. Dunker and KSTP TV sportscaster Joe Schmit acted as moderator, and the North Stars won the game 6-4 in front of an announced crowd of 37,922.
Game 858 | March 2 | Patrick Mader
Mader's book, Minnesota Gold, followed the paths of 57 state athletes who made it all the way to the top of their sport. To help illustrate his research, Mader was joined on the program with distance runner Van Nelson, who represented the United States in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in the 10,000 meter event.
Game 859 | March 9 | Don Lucia
Gopher hockey coach since 1999, Lucia's team finished the 2015-16 season with a 20-17 record while winning the Big Ten title for the third straight season. The team did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Game 860 | April 16 | Paul Molitor, Terry Ryan
Game 861 | April 27 | Chris McCarron
The 60-year-old Hall of Fame jockey retired in 1989 with 7,141 career wins and purses of more than $264 million. He described his efforts to open the North American Riding Academy and his work to provide pensions for jockeys whose careers ended early because of injuries.
Game 862 | May 4 | Rick Spielman
Less than a week after the 2016 NFL draft, Vikings General Manager Spielman talked about using the team's first-round selection on wide receiver Laquon Treadwell who finished his rookie season with just one catch for 15 yards. Spielman later was forced to give up a 2017 first-round pick for Sam Bradford who was needed to replace the injured Teddy Bridgewater.
Game 863 | May 18 | Bill McGuire
Game 864 | June 17 | Mike Zimmer
Entering his third season as head coach of the Vikings, Zimmer said he was looking forward to improving upon the team's 11-5 record of the year before. Despite serious injuries to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson and most of the offensive line, the Vikings got off to 5-0 start and sports pundits were starting to talk about a Super Bowl. Things went south after that, and the team finished out of the playoffs with an 8-8 record while Coach Zimmer dealt with serious eye issues.
Game 865 | July 8 | Mark Coyle
A member of Joel Maturi's staff, Coyle left the University of Minnesota in 2005 to join the University of Kentucky. From there he moved to Boise State and Syracuse as athletic director. After a national search, he returned to Minnesota in May as the successor to Norwood Teague and Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz.
Game 866 | August 4 | Colin Montgomerie
Here to participate in the 3M Championship, the 53-year-old Scottish pro golfer entertained members with stories of his 28 years as a golf pro. He joined the Champions Tour (age 50-plus) in 2014 and the next year won both the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open. Heralded as one of the top Ryder Cup players in history, he played on eight different teams without ever losing a singles match. He was able to share with members what they had to look forward to in the upcoming Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
Game 867 | August 10 | Tracy Claeys
Gopher football coach Claeys was about to launch his first full season after taking over from Jerry Kill late in the 2015 season. Coach Claeys led the Gophers to an 8-4 record and picked up his ninth win with a 17-12 victory over favored Washington State at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. The team played under a cloud after a sexual assault incident in early September and Claeys was fired in early January.
Game 868 | September 7 | Michele Kelm-Helgen
and Tour of US Bank Stadium
Shortly after the opening of the stadium, Kelm-Helgen, head of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, hosted Dunkers for breakfast and escorted tours of the new 66,200-seat stadium which will be host to the 2018 Super Bowl.
Game 869 | September 12 | Bruce Boudreau
The newly hired head coach of the Minnesota Wild recalled his earlier time in Minnesota as a member of the notorious Minnesota Fighting Saints. In response to a question from members as to the possible outcome of a game at the time between the Fighting Saints and the Minnesota North Stars, Boudreau scanned the audience for Lou Nanne and said, "I'd have to go with the Fighting Saints." Halfway through its first season under Boudreau, the Wild was off to one of the best starts in team history.
Game 870 | September 26 | Rich Beem
Here to cover the Ryder Cup as the American voice of European television, Beem returned to the site of his most impressive career victory. Playing at Hazeltine in the 2002 PGA Championship, he shot an opening day 72, but followed with a six-under 66 in the second round to pull into a five-way tie for the lead. Another 72 in the third round left him alone in second place, three strokes behind leader Justin Leonard. In the fourth round Beem fended off Tiger Woods who birdied his last four holes, but finished one shot behind Beem who finished with a final round 68 to Woods '67.
Game 871 | October 4 | Tom Thibodeau, Scott Layden,
Thibodeau, the 2011 NBA Coach of the Year with the Chicago Bulls, was hired in the off-season to succeed Sam Mitchell as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He entertained Dunkers with his stories of being an assistant coach on the Gold Medal U.S. Basketball team in Rio as well as his NBA debut as an assistant to Bill Musselman on the 1989 expansion Minnesota Timberwolves. New General Manager Layden previously held executive positions with the New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs. Horton, the team’s play-by-play announcer, did the interviews.
Game 872 | November 14 | Lindsay Whalen, David Plummer, Dave Schwartz
Whalen, the all-WNBA point guard for the Minnesota Lynx, told of living on a cruise while representing the United States on its gold-medal run in the Rio Olympic Games. She talked of chatting up swimmer Michael Phelps while waiting for the teams to be announced at the closing ceremonies. Plummer, a backstroker who competed at the University of Minnesota, won a bronze medal at Rio in the 100-meter backstroke and received a gold medal for his heat swim in the 4x100 meter medley relay.
Annual Meeting 2016 | December 13 | Doubleheader:
Derek Falvey / Thad Levine and the Dave and Sid Show
With the Twins operating under new management in the baseball operations, Falvey, the head of baseball operations, and Levine, the general manager, talked about their backgrounds and philosophies. The second half of the meeting saw Sid Hartman and Dave Mona interview a number of prominent local sports personalities including Kevin Warren, Chad Greenway, Cheryl Reeve, Chuck Fletcher, Richard Pitino and Scott Layden.