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Heath Hotzler, Published May 11 2007

More Cobbers deserve Hall honor

Legendary Concordia coach Jim Christopherson became the first player or coach from Concordia to be elected into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Christopherson, who led the Cobbers to NAIA national championships in 1978 and 1981, racked up 208 career victories and helped maintain Concordia’s status as a perennial national contender. He joins St. John’s coach John Gagliardi as the only Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members selected to the Hall since 1996.

However, there are a few more Cobbers that deserve consideration.

Players need to have played in the past 50 years, been a first-team All-American and proven themselves worthy citizens.

- Jake Christiansen, coach, 1941-1968.

Christiansen meets all the Hall’s requirements and then some.

He coached for 27 years, has a career winning percentage of .670, won a national title in 1964 and is considered the architect of Concordia’s rise to national prominence.

Christiansen, who came to Concordia from Valparaiso (Ind.), was years ahead of his time as an offensive coach.

He perfected the bifocal offense, which used sprint draw running plays to keep opponents off guard.

- Barry Bennett, defensive tackle, 1974-77.

At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Bennett was a disruptive force on the line.

He finished his career with 17½ sacks and 26½ tackles for a loss. He led the team in solo tackles, sacks and assists for three consecutive years.

Bennett played 12 years in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

- Terry Horan, receiver, 1985-1988.

Horan finished his playing career as the school’s record holder in receiving yards (2,864), receptions (170) and receiving touchdowns (33).

As the Cobbers’ head coach, Horan has a 44-20 record in six seasons. He reached 40 victories faster than any other Cobbers coach in school history.

Odds and ends

Minnesota State University Moorhead senior Jessica Trautwein won the 2007 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence. Trautwein, a member of the women’s basketball and track and field teams, has a 4.0 GPA and is studying mathematics education. … The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association awarded the University of North Dakota honors for having the best fans and best arena in NCAA Division II. The Sioux led the North Central Conference with an average attendance of 2,048 per game. UND is

54-5 all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

or hhotzler@forumcomm.com. Hotzler’s small college blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com