From the Minneapolis Miracle, Minnesota hosting the Super Bowl, to Twins’ Joe Mauer’s retirement, here are the biggest Minnesota sports stories from 2018.
It was a catch and touchdown that will be remembered throughout the ages. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught a last-minute pass and a Saints defensive back missed a tackle. And the Vikings were on their way to the NFC Championship. Things, at least for that moment, were wonderful for Vikings fans. Read more.
Minnesota Hosts Super Bowl
While the Minnesota Vikings didn’t quite make it to the big game, Minneapolis at least got to host it! It brought in hordes of NFL fans and a lot of money. Read more.
Wild Asst Coach Misses Game To Watch Son
Minnesota Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson did not attend the team’s game against Edmonton in March. Instead he went to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, watching his son compete for the Minnetonka Skippers in the Class 2-A state title game. “Those moments with your kids you can’t get back,” he said. Read more.
Vikings Sign QB Kirk Cousins
After years and years of a seemingly endless quarterback carousel, the Minnesota Vikings made a big move to sign what they believed to be a franchise quarterback, Kirk Cousins. He got a 3-year deal worth $84 million. Time will tell if the signing was a successful one. Read more.
Vadnais Heights Sports Center Collapses
The Vadnais Heights Sports Center dome collapsed in April due to the weight of freezing rain and heavy, wet snow. Repairs took months for the 2,000 seat sports center. Read more.
After 19 seasons, Don Lucia stepped down as head coach of the University of Minnesota’s men’s hockey team. Despite having success playing in the Big Ten, the Gophers have struggled with fan attendance in recent years. Lucia has also been unable to keep many of the top hockey players in the Twin Cities from playing at other colleges.
Lucia will remain with Gopher Athletics as a special assistant to Athletic Director Mark Coyle through June 30, 2019. Read more.
Vikings Fan Unwittingly Meets Her #1 Favorite Player
Vikings legend Tommy Kramer said he was at a hotel pool and noticed a woman who had a Vikings logo tattooed to her arm. He asked her who her favorite player was and she responded, “Tommy Kramer.” The rest, as they say, was history. Read more.
New Ulm Dance Coach Loses Job Over Living With Fiancé
A high school coach says she was given an ultimatum: Say your wedding vows or say good-bye to your job. Melissa Marti served as head dance coach at Cathedral High School for 15 years. She says the Catholic school in New Ulm refused to renew her contract because she lives with her fiancé. The story proved controversial with supporters on both sides. Read more.
Allianz Field Nearly Open in St. Paul
Crews have been busy completing the new stadium and home of Minnesota United FC. In December, the sports team announced it will take the pitch at the field for the first time in April of 2019. Read more.
WCCO’s Mark Rosen To Retire
When you think Minnesota sports, you think Mark Rosen. He’s been covering our teams for five decades at WCCO. But as the song goes, nothing lasts forever. And so the time came in October for Rosen to share the news that he has decided to retire from WCCO. We at WCCO wish him and his family all the best! Read more.
Twins Release Paul Molitor As Manager
The Minnesota Twins announced they’re going in a new direction in 2019, and fired Paul Molitor as the club’s manager. They later announced 37-year-old Rocco Baldelli as the next manager, making him the youngest manager in Major League Baseball. Read more.
Lindsay Whalen Debuts As Coach For Gophers, Destroy Opponent
Lindsay Whalen took the court with her new team in a 70-49 victory over New Hampshire in one of the most-anticipated debuts in women’s college basketball this year. Three months after announcing her retirement from the WNBA, Whalen has begun her full-time focus on the program she once helped build. Read more.
Timberwolves Trade Jimmy Butler To 76ers
Jimmy Butler got his wish: He’s out of Minnesota. The team traded the All-Star forward to the Philadelphia 76ers. Butler and Justin Patton were traded to Philadelphia for Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless, along with a 2022 second-round draft pick. Read more.
Joe Mauer Retires
Usually reserved and private, Joe Mauer shared a heartfelt goodbye and thank you with Twins Territory in November. After 15 seasons, the home town hero officially retired.
“I want to thank you for taking a chance on a St. Paul kid back in 2001. I never wanted to play anywhere else. It’s been a true honor to wear one jersey all those years,” Mauer said. “I’m going to raise my kids here. My family is here, born and raised. I was a Twins fan before I was a Twin, and I’m going to be a Twins fan after I’m done being a player.” Read more.
Gophers Beat Wisconsin, Get Axe Back
A memorable night for Minnesota was made sweeter by beating the Wisconsin Badgers on the road to take back the Axe for the first time since 2003. They won in Madison for the first time since 1994. Read more.
Vikings Offensive Coordinator Fired
The Minnesota Vikings’ offense struggled against the Seattle Seahawks on prime time television in December – and was enough to cost the offensive coordinator his job. The team relieved John DeFilippo of his duties as offensive coordinator.
Kevin Strefanski was elevated to interim offensive coordinator and will handle play-calling duties, the team said. The team went on to beat the Dolphins and the Lions under his helm. Read more.
Frustrated Vikings Fan Tries To Sell U.S. Bank Stadium On Craigslist
Following the frustrating loss that led to the offensive coordinator firing, a Minnesota Vikings fan appears to have hit a breaking point and he’s willing to give up the Vikings’ new home. Matt B posted a Craigslist add trying to sell the downtown Minneapolis stadium for a $1 billion. His post said the occupants are a team that only has success in breaking the hearts of fans. Also included with the stadium is a $84 million quarterback who, he says, can’t win against teams with winning records. Read more.
Vikings Miss Out Of Playoffs With Loss To Bears
The march to the post season for the Vikings and their dedicated fans stopped when the Chicago Bears showed up at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon. A combination of a crushing Bears’ defense and a listless Vikings offense ended the season for the Vikings. Read more.