Melissa Arthur, former assistant golf coach at Washington State, is the new Gophers women’s golf coach.
Arthur will begin her new job Monday and will have about a month to prepare her new team for its first tournament of the year Sept. 11-12 at the University golf course.
The Iowa State graduate has served as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s teams at Washington State since 1997. She was also interim head coach during a four-month period.
Aside from a stellar collegiate career, which included a conference championship, Arthur is known for her recruiting.
“I feel that I can enhance the image of the golf program by recruiting the top student-athletes in the state of Minnesota and the Midwest,” Arthur said in a press release.
University women’s athletics director Chris Voelz said in the press release that Arthur meets all of the qualifications one would want in a head coach.
“Melissa brings to Minnesota a love for her native Midwest, a successful recruiting record in Division I and experience as a head coach in a competitive Pacific-10 Conference,” said Voelz. “This, plus her abounding enthusiasm, eagerness and work ethic make her a wonderful fit for the University. …”
Monson hires third assistant
Gophers men’s basketball coach Dan Monson hired Derek Thomas to his staff Thursday as his third assistant coach.
Thomas spent the last four years as an assistant at St. Louis, where he received acclaim for helping recruit one of the nation’s best classes in 1997. Prior to St. Louis, Thomas was an assistant at Southwest Missouri and also coached at a St. Louis high school.
“I am very excited about the addition of Derek to my staff,” Monson said in a press release. “I have known him for a number of years and he is an excellent coach. He comes from a major conference, is an excellent recruiter, a first-class person and a great fit for our staff.”
A graduate of Missouri-St. Louis, Thomas guided the school to the Division II “Sweet Sixteen” and began his coaching shortly after at his alma mater as a graduate assistant. Thomas, son of Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Emmit Thomas, gives most of the credit for his coaching success to the environment at St. Louis.
“I feel that my time at St. Louis University has helped prepare me for this challenge and I can’t say enough things about how good St. Louis University has been to my family and I in our five years there,” Thomas said in the press release.
Women’s hockey team gets two more for 1999 class
Gwen Anderson, most recently from the Minnesota Thoroughbreds, and Alyson Sundberg from Roseville Area High School signed national letters of intent this week to play for the Gophers this year.
Anderson posted 25 points last year for a Thoroughbreds team that went 43-9-3 and has led the team to the national tournament the past two seasons. She played for North St. Paul High School through her sophomore year, when she lead the team in scoring, and graduated this spring.
Sundberg was a member of Roseville’s unbeaten state championship teams in 1996 and 1999 and will join former Raiders teammates Ronda Curtain, Winny Brodt and Kelly Olson. She was named to the all conference teams all four years of high school.
University women’s hockey coach Laura Halldorson said in a press release that she expects the two forwards to get immediate playing time.
“They are solid forwards who will give us more depth up front and will contribute right away,” she said. “Both come from strong academic backgrounds and are good examples of the quality student-athletes we want to be part of our program.”
No Gophers on Big Ten men’s basketball tour
The 10th annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball Foreign Tour Team left Park Ridge, Ill., Thursday for a 10-day excursion to Austria where it will compete against five different Austrian clubs.
Wisconsin Head Coach Dick Bennett will direct the team that consists of 11 players, including Third Team All-Big Ten selection Dean Oliver of Iowa.
Big Ten men’s teams have a 68-27 record in the nine years of the foreign tour that has travelled to such places as Japan, France, Italy, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
This year’s Big Ten Foreign Tour Team roster includes: Travon Davis, Wisconsin; Kirk Haston, Indiana; Lucas Johnson, Illinois; Leon Jones, Michigan; Andy Kowske, Wisconsin; Maynard Lewis Purdue; David Newman, Northwestern; Dean Oliver, Iowa; George Reese, Ohio State; Scott Witkowsky, Penn State; Mike Chappell, Michigan State.
The Gophers men’s basketball team leaves Aug. 18 for a European tour of its own, which accounts for the fact that the University will not be represented on the Big Ten tour.