Wacker packs bags, heads south for good

Former Gophers football coach Jim Wacker said his final goodbyes Tuesday afternoon at the Bierman Athletic Building and headed south to Texas.
“We’re all packed up and ready to go,” Wacker said. “The kids and grandkids are waiting for us.”
Wacker and his wife Lil are moving to Horseshoe Bay, Texas, which is about 50 miles west of Austin. Wacker spent 18 of his 26 years as a college head coach in Texas. He said he plans to do a lot of fishing with his grandchildren.
In the search for Wacker’s replacement, men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart said his staff and the search committee are continuing to research coaching candidates and talk to those with whom they’re interested.
Dienhart wouldn’t confirm or deny the names of anyone he’s talked to about the position. He said a decision is not imminent.
“Historically, at the University we’ve filled (the position) in mid-December, and my guess is that’s still realistic,” Dienhart said. “At this stage of the game it has not reached the point where we’re zeroed in on one or two candidates, or any really small number.”
— Jeff Sherry
Bill Baker honored
The Minnesota State High School League nominated former Gophers hockey player Dr. Bill Baker to the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.
The MSHSL inducted Baker to its hall of fame in 1992 for his greatness on the ice as a player for Grand Rapids (Minn.) High School and as an All-American with the Gophers. The defenseman also played on the famous 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal after beating the Soviet Union in the semifinals and Finland in the final.
Currently, Baker practices dentistry in the Brainerd, Minn., area.
— Matthew Cross