While attending the 100th birthday party for Ingmar Molde on March 2, I had a chance to briefly talk to his son, Al.
Many of our readers will remember Al Molde as a Montevideo High School graduate who went on to have a successful career as a head football coach at Sioux Falls College, the University of Minnesota-Morris, Central Missouri State, Eastern Illinois and Western Michigan. He was the athletic director at his alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, from 1997 until his retirement in 2012.
Molde's overall collegiate coaching record is 168-104-8.
Molde is returning to the coaching ranks again, taking over the head coaching job with the Saarland Hurricanes of the German Football League.
American football has become increasingly popular in Europe. National Football League teams have been playing a regular season game in London in recent years.
Molde says there are about 25 teams in the German Football League and each team can have up to four American-born players. Teams play a 16-game schedule, using Amercian professional football rules.
"I've been over there six weeks already," said Molde. "The Germans really like American football. I don't think they draw (fans) like NFL teams, but the winning teams do pretty well."
Molde's first game as coach will be May 18. Saarbrücken, a city of 176,000 people, located in the Saar coal-mining region of Germany, is the home of the Hurricanes.
Molde says part of the attraction of coaching in Germany is the interest he and his wife, Ingrid, have in history.
"It's an opportunity for us to learn a new culture while doing something I still enjoy," said Molde.
March Madness time
March Madness is a term associated with the NCAA men's basketball tournament, although this year it also describes my frame of mind waiting for winter to finally end.
I got an early start on the madness by going to the Summit League tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., Marh 10 and 11.
Being a South Dakota State University alum, it was especially fun to watch the Jackrabbits win both the men's and women's championships and qualify for the NCAA tourney.
The SDSU men (25-9) will play Michigan in the opening round today (Thursday). The game will feature two of the best point guards in college basketball — Michigan's Trey Burke and SDSU's Nate Wolters.
I think the Jacks have a shot. They are very fundamentally sound and shoot free throws very well.
The Minnesota Gophers and coach Tubby Smith get another shot at redemption against a UCLA team hurt by injuries.
It would be nice for Tubby to bring us at least one tournament win.