Hamline’s A.D. O’Brien named director of football operations

The Minnesota football team announced the hiring of new Director of Football Operations and High School Relations Dan O’Brien on Monday.

The Winthrop, Minn., native replaces Randy Taylor, who stepped down from the position on Feb. 14 after one year with the University to reportedly pursue other opportunities in private business.

Since June of 2002, O’Brien served as Hamline University’s Director of Athletics, and prior to that worked at Concordia-St. Paul University in various capacities from 1995 to 2002, including head football coach and Director of Athletics.

Before moving to the college coaching ranks, he began his football coaching career as an assistant coach at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in 1987 and then moved on to Lakeville High School as an assistant in 1989. O’Brien was later named the head football coach at Bemidji High School in 1993.

A 1987 graduate of St. Thomas, where he played football for three years, O’Brien was an All-MIAC defensive back and served as team captain his final two years at the school.

O’Brien will remain in his position as Director of Athletics at Hamline until April 1, when he officially joins the football staff at the University.

Spring practice to kick off March 28

One year after smashing the all-time spring game attendance with a turnout of 15,000 fans, the University announced in a press release on Monday that the 2008 finale of spring football practice will be held on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the Metrodome.

Minnesota will open its 2008 spring practice schedule on Thursday, March 28, with the first of 15 workouts. All practices are closed to the public except the spring game, which will have free admission.