These Gophers coaches are worth playing for, ya feel me?

Samuel Gordon

I’ve covered almost every Gophers sports team in some capacity during my tenure at the Minnesota Daily.

In the span of the last three and a half years, my job has provided me a gateway into the approaches and philosophies of several different coaches at the University. Some I know better than others.

Though my own athletics career ended a few years back, if it was still going on today, there are a few coaches I’d really like to play for.

There are several approaches to coaching, and I believe there are several effective ways to lead a team of amateur athletes.

Still, the three coaches I’d most like to play for are Brad Frost, John Anderson and Richard Pitino.

These are three very different coaches with three very different stories.

Frost, the head women’s hockey coach, has experienced more success than any Gophers coach in recent memory. No one can argue with a pair of national championships and the longest winning streak in the history of his sport.

Frost also plucks top talent from around the country every year and makes it click, all the while constructing a team-first culture that helps his players thrive.

Frost doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture that encapsulates that culture, and his colleagues admire his success.

Those colleagues also admire Anderson, who is the elder statesman of coaches at the University.

Anderson has guided Minnesota baseball since 1981, and he’s had a helluva lot of success, too.

He has nine regular-season Big Ten titles and nine Big Ten tournament championships, and he is the winningest coach in Big Ten history.

Those tangibles are all impressive, but what I admire most about Anderson is his cerebral approach to the game.

He’s cool and collected, and win or lose, his demeanor remains the same.

Pitino, on the other hand, can be a little bit of a hothead — at least during games. 

That fire, however, is exactly what the basketball program needed after Tubby Smith.

Pitino just completed his first year as the head men’s basketball coach, and he had a personality that seemed to invigorate his team. It definitely revitalized the fan base.

While the jury is still out on him as a recruiter, if he continues to have success, recruits will take notice.

We’ve got the champion, the veteran and the rookie — three of Minnesota’s finest.

And three I could definitely play for.

Ya feel me?