Assistant softball coach Bauer leaving Gophers staff

Jen Bauer, Minnesota softball’s pitching coach for the past four seasons, will leave the team effective May 30 to pursue a master’s degree in education.

Bauer, a 1997 University graduate and four-time letterwinner as a pitcher and at first base, informed the coaching staff of her decision last month.

“We support her decision,” co-head coach Lisa Bernstein said. “We have a couple of candidates in mind for a replacement but nothing for sure as of yet.”

Bernstein hopes to name Bauer’s replacement by early June.

Bauer had a large hand in recruiting pitchers, including current staff aces Angie Recknor and Piper Marten.

Prior to coaching for the Gophers, Bauer was a pitching coach for St. Thomas. In her college career, she won 13 games and was named the team’s rookie of the year in addition to winning the team’s defensive player of the year honor as a junior. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

– Brian Stensaas, Staff Reporter

Franck honored

Minnesota football legend George “Sonny” Franck has been named to the 2002 class of the College Football Hall of Fame. Franck, a Golden Gopher standout from 1938-40, will enter college football’s ultimate shrine in South Bend, Ind., with 12 other players and two coaches.

Franck is the first Golden Gopher since Bobby Bell in 1991 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He becomes the 18th Minnesota player or coach to enter the college football pantheon.

One of the most versatile athletes to ever suit up for the Gophers, Franck served stints at quarterback, safety, kick and punt returner and punter, as well as sharing the primary tailback role with fellow College Football Hall of Fame member and 1941 Heisman Trophy winner, Bruce Smith.

The two combined for more than 60 percent of the Golden Gophers’ touchdowns in 1940. That season, Franck was named consensus All-America, All-Big Ten, finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, was the Most Valuable Player of the College All-Star Game and most notably, led Minnesota to a perfect 8-0 national championship season. Academically, he was a recipient of the Big Ten Medal for Scholarship and Athletics.

Following his collegiate career, Franck played parts of four seasons with the New York Giants of the NFL despite serving time as a captain in the U.S. Navy during World War II. A recipient of nine battle stars, he survived his plane being shot down in the South Pacific in 1945.

Franck, a University Hall of Famer currently residing in Rock Island, Ill., will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with several NFL standouts, including Ronnie Lott, Dan Marino, Reggie White and Kellen Winslow.