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"Concordia Men's Sports - The First One Hundred Years"Next Section
 by Vernon Finn Grinaker
| Return to Index | Chapter 1 | 1903-1921 | 20's | 30's | 40's | 50's | 60' | 70's | 80's | 90's |

Chapter 7-- The Restless Sixties

| 1960-1961 | 1961-1962 | 1962-1963 | 1963-1964 | 1964-1965 | 1965-1966 | 1966-1967 | 1967-1968 | 1968-1969 | 1969-1970 |

1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

“Five Concordia College seniors will be honored in the 1970 volume of Outstanding College Athletes of America: Charles Bishop, Tom Cummings, Richard Peterson, Lester Perry and Bruce Zempel.

Bishop, a physical education major from Osage, Minn., was a member of the wrestling team; Cummings, a physical education major from Thief River Falls, Minn., football and baseball; Peterson, a psychology major from Henning, Minn., basketball; Perry, a physical education major from Hector, Minn., football; and Zempel, a history-political science major from Wood Lake, Minn., football.

Outstanding College Athletes of America is sponsored by the Outstanding Americans Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring Americans of achievement.  It is an annual awards volume featuring the biographical information and accomplishments of approximately 5,000 young athletes who have proven themselves outstanding in sports, campus activities and curriculum.”

1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

“Jacobi Melius ‘Jake’ Christiansen, a 197-game winner, has just announced that he is retiring from the head football coaching job at Moorhead’s Concordia College, a job that he has held for 28 years, ending one of the most colorful coaching careers in the history of Minnesota sports.  For Jake, ‘The Magician of the MIAC,’ it has been indeed an illustrious career and to pick out the highlights is difficult, but here are the most memorable:
- 197 wins, the most by any active coach today in either college or university football coaching.
- 1964, coaching the Concordia College football team to a NAIA title.
- 1964, being elected to the NAIA football Hall of Fame.
- 1964, selected coach of the year in the NAIA.
- 1966, Concordia’s plush new football stadium was dedicated in his name and stands prominently on the Concordia College campus.
- 1953, Jake originated the Concordia Coaching Clinic, which stands today as the number one coaching clinic in the nation.  It has grown from a clinic attendance of 150 coaches to a present record of 750.
- Jake has presented three outstanding football players to modern-day professional football: Gary Larsen, a defensive tackle now with the Minnesota Vikings; Don Gerhardt, a defensive end with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in the Canadian League, and Jim Christopherson, formerly a linebacker with the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

Jim Christopherson replaced the legendary Jake Christiansen as football coach.  Jim, a Henning, Minnesota native, graduated from Concordia in 1960 after twice earning All-Conference football honors and being Captain and the MIAC’s Most Valuable Player in his senior year as a Cobber.  He went on to play professional football for the Minnesota Vikings for two years (he led them in scoring in 1962) and played one year for Toronto in the Canadian Football League.
Paul Linde, '69 Football MVP, Football and Baseball 1966-1970

The 1969 team amassed a 10 - 1 overall record and led the MIAC with a 7 - 0 record.  The team beat Hillsdale, Michigan in the semi-finals of the NAIA national tournament and lost to Texas A & I in the finals.  Coach Christopherson was named District NAIA Coach of the Year.  All-Conference player Paul Linde was the MIAC Most Valuable Player.  Captains were Paul Linde, Les Perry and Bruce Zempel.

 Team members were: Chuck Olson, G. Agrimson, W. Nelson, R. Gilreath, Don Drommerhausen, M. Johnson, M. McNelly, T. Hvidsten, J. Dahl, G. Bjerken, Les Perry, M. Gunderson, L. Sunde, V. Kollar, Joel Johnson, Ed Perry, Don Tordsen, L. Wallen, P. Hanson, J. Bachlund, D. Skyberg, C. Ohlin, G. Dornfield, D. Price, M. Zimmerman, D. Halvorson, J. Carlson, R. Toso, R. Brandt, M. Smith, A. Lutz, A. Seifert, Doug Dale, V. Smith, Bruce Zempel, Paul Linde, Les Perry, D. Larson, D. Duncan, Dale Hertel, Tom Cummings, G. Anderson, F. Thysell, H. Fink, B. Hotchkiss, B. Riba, G. Kelm, B. Larson, V. Holmgren. L. Teske, L. Moe, P. Falk, R. Lindstrom, G. Noren, G. Otto, Ed Anderson, P. Genter, D Brokee, T. Braun, S. Ellefson, C. Anderson, B. Van Hunnik, Kent Baldry, L. Seifert, D. Quam, J. Jeppson, B. Sieling, D. Peterson, B. Kvebak, B. Westrum, B. Wagner, D. Jordahl and K. Danielson.

Scores for the season were:
Concordia  34  Moorhead State  6
Concordia  7  Augustana   0
Concordia  16  Hamline   14
Concordia  8  Macalester   7
Concordia  24  St. Thomas   6
Concordia  20  St. John’s   8
Concordia  42  Augsburg   0
Concordia  28  Gustavus   26
Concordia  28  UM - Duluth   7
Concordia  27  Hillsdale, Michigan  0
Concordia  7  Texas A & I   32

Conference standings were:

Concordia   7 - 0 - 0
St. John’s   5 - 1 - 1
Hamline   5 - 2 - 0
Gustavus   4 - 2 - 1
Macalester  3 - 4 - 0
UM - Duluth  2 - 5 - 0
St. Thomas  1 - 6 - 0
Augsburg   0 - 7 - 0

“Charles Olson of Red Wing, Minn., Concordia’s premiere split end, recently signed a bonus contract with the Houston Oilers of the National Football League.  Olson was a seventh round pick of the Oilers.  Olson made the MIAC all-conference team at split end and the all-NAIA district team.  This was a rather remarkable feat inasmuch as Olson was only a defensive performer the previous three years at Concordia.”

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

Sonny Gulsvig was the coach of the 1969-1970 basketball team which had a 16 - 9 record, 11 - 5 in the conference for third place.  On the team were Doug Hastad, J. Smith, D. Houseman, Gary Johnson, Terry Knauf, Bruce Backberg, Steve Carnal, Pete Rutherford, Bob Peterson, John Erickson, Richard Peterson, Larry Sonju, Randy Taylor and R. Jensen.
Richard A. Peterson
1969-70 MIAC MVP, Basketball 1966-1970

Season scores were:
Concordia  77  Moorhead State  66
Concordia  73  NDSU    70
Concordia  64  St. Thomas   83
Concordia  85  St. John’s   72
Concordia  59  St. Cloud State  61
Concordia  79  Humboldt State  73
Concordia  61  Lutheran Welfare   64
Concordia  71  Tournament   65
Concordia  59  Air Force Academy  74
Concordia  75  UM - Duluth   69
Concordia  80  Augsburg   69
Concordia  60  Augsburg   70
Concordia  40  Macalester   50
Concordia  64  Hamline   62
Concordia  65  St. Mary’s   59
Concordia  52  Macalester   54
Concordia  77  Gustavus   75
Concordia  106 NDSU    96
Concordia  53  Moorhead State  66
Concordia  63  St. Thomas   75
Concordia  65  St. John’s   56
Concordia  108 Hamline   80
Concordia  90  UM - Duluth   76
Concordia  86  St. Mary’s   69
Concordia  75  Gustavus   61

Conference standings at the close of the season were:

St. Thomas  15 - 1
Macalester  12 - 4
Concordia   11 - 5
Augsburg   10 - 6
St. John’s   7 - 9
St. Mary’s   6 - 10
Gustavus   5 - 11
UM - Duluth  5 - 11
Hamline   1 - 15

Richard Peterson, Concordia’s all-conference center, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association.  Richard was selected in the supplemental draft which means he was in the top twenty college basketball players selected by the Cavaliers.
 
 

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

The 1969-1970 hockey team skated to a third place finish in the MIAC with a 9 - 5 mark while compiling a 13 - 7 record.  The team included G. Uecker, D. McCarthy, C. Noren, J. Van Bergan, A. Lutz, D. Ernest, M. Adams, W. Horgen, B. Sandbeck, S. Haslerud, D. Skalko, P. Gronhovd, M. Gardner, J. Brecht, J. Washleski, R. Markstrom, L. Seeger, T. Hanle, K. Litzenberger, G. Jandro and T. Rupp.

“The 1969-1970 version of hockey at Concordia College was indeed the best ever in the history of the sport at the Cobbers’ school.  Hard-working head coach Al Rice, now in his second season, put together the best bunch of skaters and the finest rink team and record in history.”

Scores for the season were:
Concordia  7  St. Cloud  3
Concordia  10  St. Cloud  3
Concordia  5  Rainy River JC 4
Concordia  3  Rainy River JC 9
Concordia  1  Gustavus  9
Concordia  15  Gustavus  6
Concordia  3  St. Mary’s  2
Concordia  2  St. Mary’s  3
Concordia  7  St. Thomas  4
Concordia  6  St. Thomas  4
Concordia  6  Augsburg  4
Concordia  10  Augsburg  7
Concordia  11  Mankato  6
Concordia  12  Mankato  2
Concordia  7  St. John’s  4
Concordia  0  Hamline  1
Concordia  1  Hamline  2
Concordia  7  St. John’s  5
Concordia  10  Macalester  2
Concordia  11  Macalester  4

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

 The Concordia 1969 - 1970 wrestling team, under Coach Finn Grinaker, placed fifth in the Carleton tournament, fourth in the Luther tournament and third in the conference.  Their dual meet record was 9 - 4.  Those on the team were Charlie Bishop, Terry Bishop, Bobbitt, Kim Boyce, Ken Estvold, Tom Fink, Halverson, Fred Hashley, Mark Jokela, Kane, Hoppe, Larson, Don Lilleboe, McCoy, Pete Michel, Jamie Smith, Myron Smith, Roger Toffle and Wayne Yankoff.

Their dual meet record was:
Concordia  19  Moorhead State 15
Concordia  29  St. Mary’s  8
Concordia  25  UND   8
Concordia  21  Valley City State 13
Concordia  12  Bemidji State  28
Concordia  24  Duluth   12
Concordia  11  Augsburg  27
Concordia  2  NDSU   35
Concordia  37  Hamline  3
Concordia  17  St. John’s  19
Concordia  29  Gustavus  13
Concordia  44  Macalester  0
Concordia  21  St. Thomas  17

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

Don Gerhardt coached the 1969-1970 gymnastics team which included M. Gunderson, G. Ogard, S. Hendrickson, J. Haygeman, N. Hult, D. Rud, B. Jahraus, M. Camrud, R. Strand and R. Bowman.  They competed in only three dual meets and placed second in all three contests with the University of North Dakota twice and North Dakota State University.

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

Gerhardt also coached the 1969-1970 track team which placed fourth in the MIAC scoring all their points in the field events.  Freshmen Laurie Anderon and Chuck Thompson were conference champions in the long jump and discus respectively.  Al Agrimson placed second in the pole vault and Brad Larson finished third in the high jump.

Those on the track roster included Mark Solyst, Dave Larson, Jay Therkilsen, Al Agrimson, Dan Rogness, Bill Sorenson, Ron Seim, Laurie Anderson, Mike Grotham, Vern Ekness, John Thigpen, Darrel Carstens, Brian Burtch, Mike McNelly, Chuck Thompson, Howard Mather, Dale Sundby, Dave Gabrielson, Ken Erickson and Kraig Wold.

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

Coach Bob Nick’s 1970 tennis team faced tough competition this season in the MIAC and failed to score in the conference meet.  However, the Cobbers did fare better in nonconference play twice defeating Moorhead State.  The Cobber netmen were paced by seniors Mike Vogel, Volker Hennig, Don Idso and Norman Newell.

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

The 1970 golf team was coached by Finn Grinaker.  On the roster were Terry Knauf, Haslerud, Hanson, Hvidsten, McBroom, Zimmerman and Tom Stegbauer.  The team wwwas 7th out of 10 teams in the Cobber-Dragon Invitational, 7th out of 19 in the Morris Invitational, 3rd in the All-City, 7th out of 9 teams in the MIAC and 11th out of 17 teams in the Honeywell Invitational.

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1969-1970 | Football | M- Basketball | Hockey | Wrestling | Track | Baseball | Golf | Tennis | Gymnastics | All Sports |

Coach Al Rice announced his starting lineup for the opener of the 1970 baseball season: Paul Linde, Kerry Knoff, Donn Drommerhausen, Doug Peterson, Les Perry, Wayne Nelson, Darrel Nielsen, Steve Carnal, Bob Sieling, Tom Cummings and Pete Holte.  Others on the squad were D. Nielson, D. Johnson, L. Sannes, B. Sieling, D. Hertel, P. Holte, S. Graff, D. Dale, P. Krabbenhoft, K. Yohe, L. Peterson, S. Simonson, L. Erdahl, G. Otto, R. McDaniel and R. Peterson.

The Cobbers finished as bridesmaids to St. Mary’s Redmen in the MIAC baseball race. They compiled a 9 - 5 conference record while posting an 11-7 season record.  Pitcher Tom Cummings and third baseman Kerry Knoff were named to the all-conference team.

“Director of Athletics Irv Christenson announced that Edward Langsdorf of Pullman, Wash., a Concordia graduate of 1967, has been added to the Cobber teaching and coaching staff.  Langsdorf will teach in the Department of Physical Education and will coach track, gymnastics and assist in football.”

Looking Back at the Sixties
Football gained national prominence in 1964 with Concordia, along with Sam Houston State of Texas, being crowned NAIA national champions.  The 1969 team, under first-year coach Jim Christopherson, was defeated in the national championship game by Texas A & I.

Legendary coach Jake Christiansen ended his career in 1968 and was succeeded by Jim Christopherson who in his time would become another legend.

The football stadium built in honor of Jake Christiansen was completed and would serve as the home of Concordia football for many generations.

The school calendar was changed in the mid-sixties which placed some hardships on spring sports but the problems were soon ironed out.  Spring football in the MIAC was eliminated and for some schools, this was a major disappointment.

Four of Concordia’s finest athletes have made the big league in two different sports.  Jim Christopherson was the first to play with the Minnesota Vikings, and now Gary Larsen is a regular member of the Vikings defensive front four.  Larsen graduated from Concordia in 1964.  Don Gerhardt, a tackle from Ortonville, Minnesota, is a regular defensive end for the Saskatchewan “Riders’ in the Canadian Football League.  Gerhardt graduated in 1965 from Concordia and played on the National Championship team of ‘64.  Arlo Brunsberg of Fertile, Minnesota, was called up to the Detroit Tigers baseball club.  Arlo, Concordia’s greatest three-sport star, was in the Tiger minor league chain for the past four years — quite an achievement.

Chapter 7

1. Joel Watne, Concordian, November 11, 1960.
2. Glen Temanson, Concordian, December 2, 1960.
3. Pete Hastings, Concordian, September 12, 1961.
4. Concordian, October 21, 1966.
5. Concordian, April 5, 1968.
6. Neal Jeppson, Concordian, April 19, 1968.
 
 

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