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—It appears the coaching days at North Dakota State for head volleyball coach Kari Thompson are numbered. NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said Monday, Jan. 23 that Thompson will most likely not have her contract renewed. Thompson's contract runs through the end of this calendar year and Larsen said "at this point" there is no discussion of an extension. That would mean 2017 would be her seventh and final season at NDSU.
FARGO—North Dakota State is the Summit League leader in defense allowing the fewest points per game of any of the nine teams. Moreover, in the last two games, the Bison have hit 29 of 47 3-point goals with guard Paul Miller on a 23-of-35 3-point shooting binge. The boys are hot. "I think the guys are playing with a tremendous amount of confidence," said NDSU head coach Dave Richman. "I said from the outset this is a team that has the potential to be better offensively."
FARGO—The North Dakota State 2017 football recruiting class will be unveiled in just under two weeks. For years, after all, the first Wednesday in February has been designated as National Signing Day, the first day recruits can make it official with their letter of intent. But if NCAA legislation continues to move through the proper channels, that may change next year. The NCAA Division I Council, in action taken this week, is recommending approval of a 72-hour mid-December signing date, as well as the February deadline for football.
FARGO -- The fire alarm works, that much was confirmed Thursday night, Jan. 19, at the new Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. It could have been possible that North Dakota State and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne were so hot at various points in their Summit League men’s basketball game that the system couldn’t handle it.
FARGO -- That North Dakota State three-game Summit League women’s basketball winning streak? Two straight blowout losses have seemingly put that era of good feelings to a temporary halt. Nebraska-Omaha put the pedal to the metal in the third quarter and ran the home team out of its own Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex Wednesday night. The 80-60 victory left one burning question for Omaha head coach Brittany Lange: What was this team with a talented inside-outside combination doing with a 1-4 record in the Summit?
FARGO—In the final analysis, North Dakota State began this week still in first place in the Summit League men's basketball standings. Moreover, the Bison already have more conference road wins than they had all of last season. But the 79-55 loss at the University of Denver over the weekend provided another snapshot on how this team handles extended time on the road. "There's no magical formula," said NDSU head coach Dave Richman. "It's a toughness and a mindset."
FARGO—The business side of the National Football League hit former North Dakota State linebacker Kyle Emanuel this week when his San Diego Chargers announced they were moving the franchise to Los Angeles next season. For the fans, bitterness is sure to remain for years. For the players, the next several months will be a mixture of uncertainty and optimism. At least those are the early thoughts of Emanuel.
FARGO—The forecast this week called for a windchill one day in the minus 40s, but Jake Leingang was not fazed by the thought. Then again, there doesn't appear to be much that can raise the blood pressure of one of the greatest runners in North Dakota high school history.
Fargo I miss Greg Kampe. No, check that. I miss him but you, the North Dakota State basketball fan, miss him dearly. You miss the dark knights from Oakland University (Mich.) who came to Fargo wearing their all-black uniforms and hard-edge attitude to match. The head coach was part of that schtick and he enjoyed being in the middle of boos more than any coach in the Summit League—when Oakland was in the Summit.
FARGO—For the first time since Chris Klieman has been the head coach at North Dakota State, he will have to recruit more than football players. He needs to fill an opening in his coaching staff. Defensive line coach Jamar Cain accepted a similar position at San Jose State (Calif.), meaning the gang of nine assistant coaches that has been in place since the winter of 2014 will not be fully together for spring football. That kind of run is almost unheard of in Division I football. "It's a unique thing at any level of college football," Klieman said.