Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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Former UND swimming and diving coach Chris Maiello, whose program was cut last month, has been announced as the head coach at UConn. Maiello was in his fourth season at UND. Previously, Maiello was an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy from 2008-13. "Chris is a proven winner and is an exceptional person," UConn athletic director David Benedict said. "I heard many good things from people around the country about Chris." Maiello led the Fighting Hawks to six individual and five relay championships in the Western Athletic Conference.
The UND men's basketball team has landed a verbal commitment from Iowa Hawkeyes transfer Dale Jones, according to a source. Jones has received a sixth year of eligibility following an injury-plagued career. He will be eligible to play immediately in Grand Forks. Jones, a 6-foot-7 power forward, played in just 11 career games at Iowa, battling through two torn ACL injuries and a broken wrist. The Waterloo native averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds with the Hawkeyes. He had a career-high 16 points against Coppin State during his first season in Iowa City.
Robyn Bancroft runs, like most, for the physical fitness. But she also runs to cope with grief. So the 37-year-old Grand Forks mother of two will be running with a purpose today as she navigates the 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon. "When I have a bad day, that's what I do, I go for a run," Bancroft said. "That's what got me started. It was the coping." A self-described chubby kid, Bancroft wasn't an athlete growing up at Grand Forks Red River High School. She didn't even start running until she was 30.
Bring up the name Mason Bennett to a member of the UND football coaching staff and you're likely to hear about his promising potential. The sophomore-to-be defensive end from Winnipeg looks poised for a breakout 2017 season after registering three sacks, a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery in the Friday's Spring Game. The 6-foot-4 Bennett has added 20 pounds of weight each of his two seasons on campus, weighing in at 239 pounds last week.
UND running back James Johannesson hasn't played a down of college football yet, but the Minnesota Gophers transfer knows how to star in a Spring Game. Johannesson, who had 130 rushing yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's 2016 Spring Game, turned in another big performance Friday evening in front of an estimated 1,000 fans at UND's Spring Game at the High Performance Center. Johannesson had 11 carries for 54 yards to lead the Fighting Hawks offense that went through roughly 40 plays. Those numbers also came against a run defense that led the Big Sky Conference in 2016.
The UND women's basketball team made 186 3-pointers as a team last season. The latest additions for the Fighting Hawks made 200 between the two of them a year ago. Twins Melissa and Megan Dailey—5-foot-7 junior college transfers from the College of Siskiyous in Weed, Calif.—signed national letters of intent on Wednesday to play at UND. Melissa led the California junior college ranks in scoring with a 26.1 points-per-game average. She hit 117 of 275 3-pointers for a 42.5 percent average. She also averaged 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.
North Dakota State pitcher Jacquelyn Sertic was a little concerned in the bottom of the seventh inning when UND's Marina Marzolino lofted a high fly ball to deep centerfield with two outs and a runner on, aiming to tie the ballgame. "I was watching the outfielder and knew she was a couple of feet away from the fence, but it did make me a little nervous," Sertic said. The final out was one of the few close calls for the Bison pitcher, who struck out 15 and allowed three hits in a 3-1 victory on Tuesday at Apollo Park.
The UND football team's defensive line has plenty of experience and talent, so defensive line coach Jordan Gigli wants to see leadership now, too. Gigli has asked his veteran crew to set the tone at spring ball, where UND is in its final week of spring practices at the High Performance Center. UND will hold its annual Spring Game at 5 p.m. Friday at the HPC.
UND offensive coordinator Paul Rudolph wasn't searching out for any help at running back this offseason. The Fighting Hawks were bringing back two all-Big Sky Conference backs in juniors John Santiago and Brady Oliveira. But Minnesota Gophers transfer and former Fargo South star James Johannesson became available this spring, made a move to Grand Forks and Rudolph isn't complaining about his overcrowded backfield. "I think it's a good deal," Rudolph said. "The more tools you put in the toolbag the better it is. You just have to manage it properly."
UND's decision to eliminate women's hockey and men's and women's swimming and diving is final, according to school spokesman Peter Johnson. Last week, the school announced the athletic budget cuts, which are a response to an expected reduction in state funding. On Wednesday, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and UND sophomore defenseman Taylor Flaherty were on ESPN's Outside the Lines and criticized the cut. On ESPN, Flaherty said the program was waiting for a fundraising target from UND President Mark Kennedy.