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Kevin Schnepf, Published August 22 2013

New men's golf coach Kennedy has connections at NDSU

FARGO – Bill Carlson, who had more excitement than a golfer could take this summer, is thrilled to be reunited with his old coach.

Carlson, who won four amateur tournaments this summer, is a junior on North Dakota State’s men’s golf team that introduced new coach Steve Kennedy this week.

“To have him here is just awesome,” said Carlson, who golfed for Kennedy at Fargo South. “He knows how to win without putting that pressure on you.”

Kennedy knew how to win at South, where his teams won 12 state championships during his 18-year tenure from 1993 to 2010 including seven straight. Kennedy was a five-time North Dakota coach of the year and a national coach of the year in 2008.

“I have been dreaming about this job for many years and now here we are,” said Kennedy, a 1984 NDSU graduate. “I’m going to do a lot of the things I did at the high school level and see if that works.”

In addition to Carlson, Bison senior Kyle Jandro played for Kennedy at South. Junior Trent Olson of Fargo Shanley and sophomore Connor Holland of West Fargo played against Kennedy.

“We definitely think we can make a run at the Summit League championship,” Carlson said.

Contract extensions

It’s official. Men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips, wrestling coach Roger Kish and softball coach Darren Mueller have agreed to multi-year contract extensions.

Phillips, who has a 108-77 record in six seasons, accepted a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $175,000 and raises of at least 4 percent each year depending on his performance review.

Kish, entering his third season as wrestling coach, accepted a three-year contract with a base salary of $70,298.

Mueller, who has guided the softball team to four NCAA tournaments during his 13 years, accepted a three-year contract with a base salary of $76,491.

Volleyball picked sixth

After winning four straight Summit League regular-season titles from 2008-11, the Bison volleyball team has been picked to finish sixth this year, according to a poll of league coaches.

Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne and Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis were picked as co-favorites to win the league. Denver was picked third followed by South Dakota, South Dakota State, NDSU, Western Illinois and Nebraska-Omaha.

Women hoops schedule

The Bison women’s basketball team will face eight teams that advanced to postseason play last season for the upcoming season.

The schedule will feature 14 home games, including nonconference games with Mississippi State and Northern Iowa.

The Bison will open the season with a pair of exhibition games against Minnesota-Crookston on Oct. 30 and Concordia on Nov. 2.

Women runners first

The women’s cross country team was picked to win its third straight Summit League title while the men were picked to finish fifth according to a poll of league coaches.

The women return five of their top six runners from last year’s team that dominated the Summit League meet. The men return its entire squad that tied for sixth at last year’s Summit League championships.

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor

Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549