per Frederick:

It often seems a little bit awkward when the Gopher Road Trip makes a stop in the Mankato area, and one of the featured speakers is a University of Minnesota hockey coach.

Hockey is the only Division I sport thatís also played outside of the U in this state with programs at Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and Bemidji State. So those towns can be hostile territory for one member of the caravan.

Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery in Kasota, though, was a safe space for Bob Motzko, the new Gophers menís coach, who took over for the retiring Don Lucia in late March after spending 13 seasons at St. Cloud.

Motzko didnít talk much about playing Minnesota State, though, last Tuesday, speaking alongside football coach P.J. Fleck, menís basketball coach Richard Pitino and others who donít have the same southern-Minnesota competition. Instead, he spent some of his time making a pitch to his own fans, boosters and other supporters, touting his new teamís conference.

ďThe Big Ten is here to stay,Ē he said. ďItís not going away.Ē

Go Gophers!!