Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO - North Dakota State found its successor to Gene Taylor. University President Dean Bresciani named Matt Larsen, the senior associate athletic director at Stony Brook (N.Y.) as the next Bison athletic director. Larsen was recommended to Bresciani by the NDSU search committee. Bresciani said he contemplated the decision Saturday night after the NDSU football win over Montana and made his final decision on Sunday.
FARGO — It’s a long drive from Fargo to Missoula, Mont. North Dakota State and the University of Montana play in different conferences in different time zones and both have yet to play against each other as Division 1 opponents. But both are also all too familiar with each other.
FARGO — It’s Montana at North Dakota State, but in the scope of NCAA Division I FCS football, it goes much deeper than that. This Saturday, the early season kings of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Big Sky Conference will battle for nonconference supremacy. Certainly, there could be playoff implications down the line but that’s all subject to both teams continuing to have success in their league seasons — and that is never a certainty. For now, the 2:30 p.m.
FARGO — It was about year ago when Omaha Creighton Prep quarterback Easton Stick and his coach got in a car after a Friday night game and made the drive to Fargo for an unofficial recruiting visit. Before going to the North Dakota State football game, they stopped downtown. It wasn’t for a donut and juice. It was the big enchilada of exposure for college football coaches: Getting ESPN’s “College GameDay” in their backyard. What Stick saw was something he didn’t expect, he said. “Just the passion — people hanging out of windows and people on roof tops, it stuck with me,” he said.
FARGO — Gene Taylor isn’t done watching the North Dakota State men’s basketball team in person after all. This time, he’ll be on the other side. The former NDSU athletic director, now the deputy athletic director at Iowa, will see his former program play the Hawkeyes on Nov. 17 in Iowa City, Iowa, as part of the 2K Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. Taylor did not play a part in the matchup since it’s part of the 2K Classic.
The project began last winter when Weber State head football coach Jay Hill looked at his roster and decided he needed to add a couple of key attributes to his rebuilding pie: size and speed. Known as a top-notch recruiter in his tenure as an assistant at the University of Utah, word got out that the Wildcats were in the mood for taking Division I FBS transfers. But Hill said Wednesday that the Wildcats also put the following sign of sorts on the door: It’s not come one, come all. “We hand selected the ones we thought could help us,” he said.
When running back Aaron Wimberly ran three yards for a touchdown on Saturday to give Iowa State a 14-0 lead, the North Dakota State defensive staff was scratching its collective head. It had some work to do. Head coach Chris Klieman and defensive coordinator Matt Entz painted a picture early this week that communication was in need of improvement after the first quarter.
Labor Day was a work day for the North Dakota State football team on Monday. Not all was rosy in the 34-14 victory over Iowa State on Saturday. Head coach Chris Klieman said the NDSU special teams “got whipped,” and if it wasn’t for the performance of punter Ben LeCompte and kicker Adam Keller, that it could have gotten worse. “The effort was good, but we played a lot of young kids and their athletes were much better than our kids in space,” he said.
FARGO — Adam Schueller is a sports management major with minors in business and patience.
FARGO — Classes start this week for the North Dakota State students, although 90 of them have been going at it on campus since Aug. 3 when the football team reported for practice. After three weeks of competing against each other, Monday signified the start of something refreshing: game week. The Bison are preparing for the season opener this Saturday at Iowa State. It appeared to be business as usual for the Bison all month with very little drama.