Good years for the Minnesota Gopher and UMD Bulldog football programs netted key participants on the teams national awards in the last 24 hours.
Gopher first-year offensive lineman Ben Lauer, who helped the Minnesota running attack rank 37th in the nation, was named to the freshman All-America team by the Football Writers Association of America Monday.
The 10-person media panel selected the Plymouth native as one of four Big Ten linemen to make the team. Lauer was also selected to the ESPN Big Ten All-Freshman team.
A little further north, Minnesota-Duluth head coach Curt Weise was named the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year in Division II football Sunday.
The award honors a coach at every level on the NCAA gridiron (FBS, FCS, D-II, D-III) and looks for the man that produces the highest level of sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility, and excellence in athletics and academics in their program.
Weise led UMD to an 11-2 overall record, 10-1 in the NSIC, and a postseason win over No. 14 Emporia State before being eliminated from the NCAA tournament by No. 2 Northwest Missouri State.
The Bulldogs finished the season ranked No. 8 in the country, second among Minnesota teams to Minnesota State, who finished two spots above them.
Joining Weise as honorees were Gus Malzahn of Auburn, Craig Bohl of NDSU, and Pete Fredenburg of Mary-Hardin Baylor.
Glenn Caruso, head coach at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was the three-time defending Division III honoree.