MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former University of Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi is getting a lasting honor on the Twin Cities campus. As revealed Sunday on WCCO Radio’s Sports Huddle with Sid Hartman and Dave Mona, the university is set to name the school’s Sports Pavilion after Maturi.
Gopher sports teams won seven national championships in Maturi’s 11 years at the University of Minnesota. He helped merge the men’s and women’s athletics departments into one unit and was instrumental in bringing Gopher football back to campus at TCF Bank Stadium. The native of Chisholm retired from the university in 2012. Maturi was also athletics director at Denver and Miami before he was hired in his home state on July 12, 2002.
The 5,000-seat Sports Pavilion hosts Gopher volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics on the west end of the same 1920s-era building that houses Williams Arena. From 1950 to 1993, that part of the building was the site of the original Mariucci Arena, the home of Gopher hockey. When the new Mariucci Arena was built across the street, the Sports Pavilion was renovated and opened in 1993.