Q&A: Roger Schipper a legend in athletic training (Talks '97 season, Trevor Winter)


Well-known member
Nov 11, 2008
Reaction score
Q&A: Roger Schipper a legend in athletic training (Talks '97 season, Trevor Winter)

per The Globe:

Q: Tell me about when you were first hired by the Gophers. What’s your top memory of that?

A: When Jim Dutcher called to welcome me aboard for basketball was probably the big thing. Then getting to know everybody at the ‘U,’ and learning the way the University of Minnesota worked and getting to meet people that I’d read about. I was fortunate to work alongside of a lot of them.

Q: And working in that historic Williams Arena had to be a thrill. But you had probably been there for state basketball tournaments when you were in high school, right?

A: Yep. Wrestling tournaments and state basketball tourneys were also held at Williams. Before I started working at the University of Minnesota I’d been there like maybe four times. So I used to walk in the building at night and the back lights would be on, and I’d go up and walk up on the floor and hear it creak and crack and talk back to me a little bit. Those are some of the fond memories I have. I thought about all the people who had worked so hard on that floor, with their sweat and determination, for Gopher basketball.

Q: Now the place has been refurbished, but doggone it, the Barn floor looks different.

A: Yes, it does look different. They put a new floor in a few years back and it’s not quite as soft as it used to be. It’s lost a lot of its creaks and cracks. And a new paint job is a new paint job, I guess.

Q: You know, Roger, I got a chance to talk to Mr. Dutcher one time, back in the early ‘80s when I was first working at the Globe. Ron Vorwald was hired by the Worthington school district and I believe Ron had worked for a time for coach Dutcher. Anyway, my recollection is that Mr. Dutcher could not have been nicer in a phone interview with a small-town reporter from rural Minnesota.

A: Yes. Coach Dutcher was a good man to work with. He and I have stayed in good contact over the years.

Q: Did you enjoy working with all the head coaches that followed him?

A: Every one of them. They were all great human beings. They all had their own way of doing things. But when practice started and they walked on that floor they were there for business. They were ready to go to work. And when they walked off the floor, they returned to being real gentlemen.

Q: That 1997 winter is a little bittersweet for a lot of Gopher fans. It was such a great team and it’s not recognized with a banner in the rafters but I’ll bet you have special memories of that year. (Minnesota, coached by Clem Haskins, was 31-4 and champions of the Big Ten. The Gophers advanced to the Final Four for the first time in school history but later forfeited the season and had the record vacated because of an academic fraud scandal).

A: All the seasons were special. But ‘97, you think about that team and they won a lot of games by five points or less. It was a real strong team that was gritty and didn’t know how to give up. Those guys gave everything they had until the end of the game.

Q: I’m a Slayton boy, Roger, and we’ve always been very proud of Trevor Winter, who played for the Gophers that season. I bet you know his family well.

A: So you’re an old Slayton Wildcat. (Laughs) Yes, I know Trevor and his family very well. Trevor’s an unbelievable individual. Both on and off the floor he was great. He was a very kind and giving person who cared a lot about his teammates and was a good leader, both academically and physically.

Q: When I was doing some research getting ready to talk to you, I noticed a story indicating that, lo and behold, you deserve credit for the Gophers beating UCLA in the Midwest Region Finals. (There was a Los Angeles newspaper story prior to the game where UCLA star Charles O’Bannon had some less-than-flattering things to say about the Gophers. Fans faxed the story to Schipper, who apparently made certain the entire Minnesota squad became aware of the bulletin-board material).

A: (laughs) Not really. It kind of happened that way. I just gave the article to the manager, I think, and he gave it to the coach. I remember (the fans) woke me up in my room and I said, sure fax it to me. The players won the game (in come-from-behind fashion).

Q: The power of the press, Roger.

A: That’s right. The power of the pen.


Go Gophers!!
Top Bottom