Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The new website is here!

Well, it's done! After several months of work, Augsburg now has a new athletic presence on the web. Change your bookmarks from the old website (www.augsburg.edu/athletics) to this, brand-spankin' new website:


Maybe it's lucky, since we launched on St. Patrick's Day!

But seriously, folks, this website is the result of a lot of hard work, most particularly by Kelly Anderson Diercks, our assistant athletic director/assistant sports information director. She took the reins of the redesign process, and joined by your friendly neighborhood SID, several student workers and Bryan Barnes from the Marketing and Communications department, helped make this new athletic website happen.

Augsburg partnered with Internet Consulting Services, a web design firm based in Syracuse, N.Y. (Go Orange in the NCAA tournament!) that has worked with more than 250 colleges and universities across the country. Augsburg is the seventh MIAC school (along with the MIAC office) to partner with ICS for its athletic web presence.

The new website features a more contemporary look, in line with the new look for the rest of the Augsburg website. The site also has numerous new features, including an imbedded YouTube video channel, biographical pages for more than 400 student-athletes, and an interactive calendar. Other features will be added in the future.

Take a look around, and give us your feedback. E-mail me at stoner@augsburg.edu and Kelly Anderson Diercks at diercks@augsburg.edu and let us know what you think. If you see bugs in the site, please tell us (we tried to ferret out everything, but something may pop up). If you like or don't like a feature, let us know.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanks from Coach Bateman

Baseball head coach Keith Bateman wants to thank the fans who came to the Metrodome in earnest to root on the Auggies in their season-opener against Edgewood (Wis.) on Saturday night. After winning the season-opener against the Eagles 4-3 (11 inn.), the Auggies have two early-morning doubleheaders at the Metrodome this week -- against Dickinson State (N.D.) on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m., and against Mayville State (N.D.) on Friday at 6 a.m.

I wanted to take a second and thank the fans that made their way out to the Metrodome on Saturday night. The atmosphere for our opening game was great. Playing at 10 p.m., I am not always sure what the attendance will be like. The fact the 200-plus Auggie faithful showed up was awesome!

The energy that you brought to the dome was felt in our dugout. That same energy helped us get out of some jams in the field and get the big hits at the dish.

Thanks again for your support of the baseball program. My guys are working hard to bring an MIAC title back to Augsburg. Thanks especially to the fans that came out last night. You truly made it an Augsburg victory.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Live playoff webcasts

The Auggie men's basketball and men's hockey teams are in the MIAC postseason playoffs, and if you can't make it to the games (though we really wish you would), you can listen to the live action online.

We will have live audio webcasts of all Augsburg playoff games in men's basketball and men's hockey -- http://www.augsburg.edu/athletics/liveaudio/. Our great play-by-play guy, Tom Witschen, will be on the call tonight for men's basketball at Bethel and tomorrow for men's hockey at Hamline.

For tonight's (WEDNESDAY 2/25) men's basketball playoff game at Bethel at 7:30 p.m., the Royals will have a live video webcast (click here), as well as live stats (click here).
Here's a hint for your best Auggie fan enjoyment ... Click on the Bethel live video link to watch, but mute the sound on the QuickTime window. Then click on the Augsburg audio link and make sure that window is active. That way, you can watch the video and still listen to Tom with the Augsburg call!

For tomorrow's (THURSDAY 2/26) men's hockey playoff game at Hamline (Drake Ice Arena in St. Paul) at 7:15 p.m., Tom will be your link to all the action with our live audio webcast.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wear pink on Saturday!

Wear your favorite pink shirt and support the fight against breast cancer on Valentine's Day this Saturday!

We want Augsburg fans to wear pink at all our home athletic events on Saturday (2/14) --
women's basketball against Bethel at 1 p.m. at Si Melby Hall, men's basketball against Bethel at 3 p.m. at Si Melby Hall, and women's hockey against St. Mary's at 7:05 p.m. at the Augsburg Ice Arena.

The Augsburg Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Athletic Department is teaming up with the Auggie men's and women's basketball teams and the women's hockey team to help fight the battle against breast cancer, as part of a nationwide "Pink Zone" effort sponsored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Augsburg will be collecting donations, selling Pink Zone t-shirts and providing educational materials at all home athletic events this Saturday. Donations will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Minnesota chapter. Come wearing pink and help us support women everywhere.

In addition, at the women's hockey game against St. Mary's, the Auggies will be sporting pink jerseys (first worn by the men's hockey team earlier this season), and will feature a fundraising raffle for the Komen fund. The raffle will feature several hockey souvenirs signed by members of the U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team, which is training in Blaine, Minn., for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The team is coached by 1980 U.S. Olympian Mark Johnson, current head coach of the University of Wisconsin women's hockey team and the father of Augsburg men's hockey player Chris Johnson.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vote for Tiffany!

It's time for all good Auggies to come together and vote their consciences for a good cause ... getting Augsburg's own Tiffany Magnuson to the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge!

Tiffany is one of 34 women's hockey finalists (the lone Division III West Region finalist) to be selected as one of 16 women's hockey players to compete in the event, held at the NCAA Men's Hockey Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., on April 10.

It's the second time an Augsburg player has been a finalist for the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge; in 2007, men's hockey player Aaron Johnson was selected to compete in the event in St. Louis, Mo.

Tiffany is a multi-sport star at Augsburg, and a three-time All-MIAC honoree in both women's hockey and softball.

To vote for Tiffany, go to http://www.ncaa.com/frozenfourskllschallenge/ and click on the Women's West link. You can vote for two goalies and six position players from each region, and Tiffany is among 14 position players in the Women's West Region list.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A great honor for a great leader

Permit your friendly blogger a personal indulgence to share some of my thoughts about my boss, and my friend, Jeff Swenson ...

Last Friday was a very busy day for Augsburg sports. The athletic department staff had to prepare for two big home events going on at the same time -- a wrestling match against perennial rival Wartburg (Iowa) and a men's hockey game against Concordia-Moorhead. We also had a high school wrestling match in the Si Melby Hall gym, and the wrestling meet had a "major event" feel to it ... a raised stage for the mat, an anticipated huge crowd, our first-ever live video webcast, and a very special event prior to the meet honoring our department's boss, athletic director Jeff Swenson.

Jeff was being honored for his quarter-century as Augsburg's wrestling head coach with the unveiling of the "Jeff Swenson Wrestling Wall of Fame" in the Kennedy Center lobby, adjacent to the Alan and Gloria Rice Wrestling Center and the Lute Olson Hall of Champions. Knowing Jeff as I have for the last dozen years, I know that he was very humbled by the event, and given his druthers, he probably didn't want his name attached to the Wall of Fame ... he's a good Lutheran, and we Lutherans don't like attention drawn to ourselves. "Honor the history of the program, not one person," he probably said at first (I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that was the case).

But I'm glad that Jeff Swenson's name has a place on the Wrestling Wall of Fame, and that it is featured in such a prominent and public place in the athletic complex. Jeff has given nearly all of his adult life to Augsburg College. As a student, coach, alumni director, and now in his role as athletic director, he has lived and breathed this great place. And he has been one of the key elements in developing the success of not only our wrestling program, but now our entire athletic department.

Can you imagine what it was like to be Jeff Swenson back in 1980? Just a year removed from graduating from Augsburg, at the tender age of 22, he's asked by the college to take over the wrestling program that his coach and mentor, John Grygelko, had developed into a major player in the sport at the small-college level. John, or "G" as everyone knows him, has given his blessing to Jeff's taking over the program.

And what a job Jeff did. In 25 years, he took the program that "G" gave him and made it a national powerhouse. Ten national championships ... 39 individual national champs ... 158 All-Americans ... 321 dual-meet wins ... 20 MIAC team titles ... 14 MIAC Team Duals titles ... a reputation of athletic AND academic excellence ... and other records too numerous to count. And then, in 2007, after leading Augsburg to its 10th national title, he stepped down to take on the full-time responsibility of leading Augsburg's athletic department (a job he had done on a part-time basis since 2001).

Over the last decade, under Jeff's leadership, Augsburg's athletic department has shown tremendous growth and progress. The little school in the heart of Minneapolis has improved its facilities and staff, while making a commitment to develop our student-athletes into leaders, both on the field and off. He has brought our 18 teams together under one umbrella and has made our athletic department a true family. He's applied the lessons he taught hundreds of wrestlers through the years to our entire athletic endeavor, and we're all the better for it.

When you take the steps up into the Kennedy Center -- a building dreamed and realized under Jeff's leadership -- you now see the Jeff Swenson Wrestling Wall of Fame on your right. In the trophy case are more than 30 national trophies ... most of which earned under Jeff's leadership. It's a great tribute to a great leader.

Back to Friday night ... on that busy evening, many people gathered in the Kennedy Center to honor Jeff. The A-Club Suite was as full as I've ever seen it, with former wrestlers, coaches and friends all there to pay tribute to Jeff Swenson and his leadership. Former wrestlers Mark Matzek -- now Augsburg's head coach with Jeff as an assistant -- and Nick Slack delivered great tributes to Jeff, and how he played a key role in not only their lives, but in the lives of everyone around them. Then, Jeff took the stage, and of course, he deflected the attention from himself. He thanked everyone for their contributions to the growth and success of Auggie athletics, and paid special tribute to his family ... his parents, his sister, his wife Melissa and their young kids, Brady, Brett and Ethan.

And during halftime of the wrestling match -- a match Augsburg won 21-16 to secure the No. 1 ranking in the Division III national polls -- a public tribute was given to Jeff, in front of a nearly full house in Si Melby Hall. And he received a well-deserved standing ovation. A fitting honor for a great person, and someone I'm proud to call my friend, Jeff Swenson.

Women's hoops Maroon Out tonight

Augsburg's women's basketball team will have its "Maroon Out" night tonight (Wednesday 2/4) during the first game of a basketball doubleheader against Concordia-Moorhead at Si Melby Hall. Game time is 5:45 p.m., with the men's game against the Cobbers to follow at 7:45 p.m.

Students wearing maroon will receive one free popcorn during the women's game. The Maroon Out games are sponsored by Augsburg's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).