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The Minnesota Daily

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Smith: “Camps are critical”

Coaches Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster held their annual youth camps, recently, on campus.

Waves of young athletes descended upon campus over the last week, as both Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster held youth coaching camps.

“There are a number of kids returning from last year’s camps – that’s a real positive, that they had a positive experience,” Smith said. “We exposed them to what Gophers basketball is all about, exposed them to the U.”

Smith also said that the turnout at this year’s camps (around 170 people) doubled or tripled those of last year’s, when Smith was just arriving on campus himself.

“We don’t take it very seriously,” Smith said. “I love camping. It’s probably the best time of the year for me.”

Smith, who will enter his second year at Minnesota next season, told the media that he loves working with kids who are “still hungry.”

Another benefit of the program – besides finding new talent – is developing the talent that is already with the Gophers; a special camp was held over the weekend for incoming first-years and area recruits, and some of last year’s squad worked the camps with Smith’s staff.

“Our players that work the camp, they get to learn how to conduct themselves Ö It’s kind of like a learning process for them,” Smith said. “Sometimes, I go up to them and say ‘Now you see what it’s like trying to get you guys to do something!’ “

Brewster reiterated Smith’s love for youth camps, citing it as one of the reasons he came back to college football.

“Without question, getting out and coaching and working with these kids is so rewarding,” Brewster said in a team statement. “To see the sheer excitement and joy that these kids have about the game of football really makes it very special.”

Even if the Gophers aren’t necessarily looking at an athlete, Brewster said University camps give players a chance to show other programs around the state what they are made of.

“Our opportunity to see some of the top players in the state is a very good thing. We have a lot of kids in the out-state areas that, maybe, people don’t know a lot about,” Brewster said.

“They come to our football camp and they’ve got an opportunity to be seen. Not only can they be seen by us, at the University of Minnesota, but we have coaches from every level in the state of Minnesota, so there’s a place for every young kid that comes to football camp to play college football. That’s the really exciting thing about this camp opportunity here at the U.”

Both coaches also teach campers about the importance of academics and other aspects outside of athletics while they are in camp.

“Helping them become better men and better people is a great opportunity for me,” Brewster said. “You look at the wholeness of the opportunity we’re getting, here, not only to help them become better football players, but we have interaction with them about academics and life in general.”

Track recruits

Just over a week after the Minnesota women’s track and field team earned its highest ever finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, coach Matt Bingle announced next year’s recruiting class.

A group of 10 incoming freshmen that includes three Minnesotans will look to bolster an already-strong returning roster for the Gophers.

“We are very excited about this class of incoming freshmen,” said Bingle in a release. “This class includes some great talent that we can’t wait to get on campus. We hope these talented athletes will help continue the success that the women have enjoyed over the last few years.”

Paulson wins qualifier

Minnesota men’s golf senior Andy Paulson tallied seven birdies en route to his first-place finish at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Qualifier.

The White Bear Lake native shot a 2-under 70 in the final round, edging Wisconsin’s Tyler Obermueller by a single stroke, and earning a place at the U.S. Amateur Public Links tournament next month in Colorado.

Minnesota’s Ben Pisani will serve as an alternate for the tournament after missing the qualifying score by one stroke.

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