Gopher Sport presents MCAC Coach-of-the-Year in Basketball, Wrestling

Gopher Sport presents MCAC Coach-of-the-Year in Basketball, Wrestling

Rochester, Mn-

As the winter sports season across the Minnesota College Athletic Conference draw to a close, Gopher Sport, the Minnesota-based industry leader in Physical Education, sports and fitness equipment, would like to recognize those professionals who were voted Coach-of-the-Year in their respective sports by their peers. 

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference recognizes Coach-of-the-Year honorees in wrestling, as well as both the Southern Division and Northern Division in men's and women's basketball during the winter sports season.  


Randy Rager

Wrestling, Coach of the Year

        Rochester Community & Technical College         

To say that RCTC Wrestling Head Coach Randy Rager had a good year as leader of his Yellowjacket squad would be an understatement. 

Rager, a former All-America athlete himself at the University of Minnesota-Morris, earned the NJCAA Man-of-the-Year award at the most recent NJCAA Wrestling National Championships, as voted by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Locally, Rager also was a finalist for the Rochester Sports Commission's Coach-of-the-Year, designed to honor the most impactfull sports leaders in the greater Rochester, Minnesota area. 

On the mat, Rager's team continues to excel.  RCTC was the highest finishing non-scholarship program in the country at the 2018 NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament and had the top finishing MCAC individual wrestler as well, in Mason Hawkins (197#).   Hawkins, a sophomore from Farmington, advanced to the 4th/5th place round of the tournament at his weight class, good for Honorable Mention status in the second-heaviest weight class of NJCAA Wrestling.  

For more on Randy Rager and RCTC Wrestling, go to:



Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka

Southern Division

Women's Basketball

Minnesota West Community & Technical College                                                                     

Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikkaled her Minnesota West Lady Jay women's basketball team to their first Southern Division out-right title in approximately 15 years and was tabbed as MCAC Southern Division women's basketball Coach-of-the-Year in the process.

Hayenga-Hostikka, also an instructor in biology for MnWest, helped mentor a record-setting year for sophomore Katherin Ihnen, who re-wrote the Lady Jay record books for rebounding and points scored during the 2017-18 campaign.  She also orchestrated a nearly-perfect MCAC South run, with Minnesota West turning in a 13-1 Divisional record and 22-5 overall mark.

With the regular season success comes post-season opportunity, and Minnesota West will host the Region XIIIA tournament on March, 3-4 in Worthington.  The winner of the four-team field will advance to the NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball National Championships at the RVC Physical Education Center in Rockford, Illinois on March 15-17.      

To learn more about Rosalie Hayenga and MnWest Athletics, visit:                                                                                       





Ron Larson

Southern Division

Men's Basketball

        Anoka-Ramsey Community College                                                                     

The men's basketball team at Anoka-Ramsey Community College has been a fixture at the top of the MCAC Southern Division standings in 2017-18, and head coach Ron Larson has been a key part of their success. Larson, a long-time high school coach at St. Francis High School, was tabbed Southern Division Coach-of-the-Year by his peers this season.

Larson's  2017-18 Golden Ram squad took regular season MCAC honors on the strength of a 12-2 Conference mark and 17-10 overall record.  Anoka-Ramsey serves as host of the MCAC / Region XIII State Tournament, and the ARCC team will enjoy the benefit of home court as they look to help Larson advance to his second consecutive NJCAA Division III National Tournament.          

Larson's coaching was instrumental in the development of Chris Morgan, who currently leads the MCAC in three-point field goal percentage and Kevin Schramm, a multiple Player-of-Week recipient who is tops in the MCAC in defensive rebounds and third in free-throw percentage.

Coach-of-the-Year, Ron Larson and his Anoka-Ramsey team will open up defense of their Region XIII crown on Friday, March 2 with a first-round match-up against fourth-seed Mesabi Range College.  

For more on ARCC Basketball and Ron Larson, please go to:                                                                                         



Dieter Humbert

Northern Division 

Women's Basketball 

          Rainy River Communty College                                                        

Rainy River Community College women's basketball coach, Dieter Humbert, has earned the MCAC Northern Division Coach-of-the-Year, as voted on by his coaching peers. Humbert led an amazing turnaround of the Voyaguer team, racing out to a 10-2 Division record and a shared portion of the Division championship. 

RRCC landed outside of the playoff field in 2017, but a strong recruiting class over the off-season and some balanced, solid basketball on the court helped lead Humbert's team to the top of the 2018 Division standings.  Rainy River shared the title with perennial champion Northland CTC, who earned a 10-2 mark as well, and came out on the wrong end of the coin toss to host the Region XIIIB tournament.  Rainy River will travel to Thief River Falls to join NCTC, Central Lakes and Hibbing to compete for the right to advance to the 2018 NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball tournament. 

A major factor in the Voyeguers success was Humbert's top freshman recruit, Dajea Monore, who is found at the top of the points-per-game stat category in MCAC women's hoops, chipping in over 25 points per contest.  Humbert, who also serves as the softball coach at Rainy River, has assembled a team with representatives from four states (Florida, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota) and Canada, and seems to have created the right chemistry within the squad to compete for the Regional crown.  

Rainy River put the league on notice that they would be a force to content with, as RRCC went 5-1 in December. They continued their good form into Divisional play, going unbeaten in January against MCAC competition as well. 

For more on Coach Dieter Humbert and Rainy River, please go to:                                                                                                                                             



Bill Engel

Northern Division 

Men's Basketball 

        Rainy River Community College                                    

Rainy River men's basketball head coach Bill Engel made it a 'Voyeguer-sweep' of Coach-of-the-Year honors in Northern Division basketball in 2017-18, riding a first-place Divisional finish to a COY honor, based on the votes of his peers. 

The Voyaguer basketball team found a way to rise above a crowded and competitive field of Northern Division challengers, finishing with a 12-2 mark, just above Vermilion at 11-3 in league play.  Engel has mentored one of the top performers in MCAC Basketball this year, with Davarious Wright leading the RRCC team in many offensive statistical categories and earning multiple Player-of-the-Week honors along the way. 

In Conference action, Rainy River never lost more than one game in a row, and seemed to pull away late in contests against some of the traditional powers.  An overtime win against Central Lakes was a key part of a 6-1 February that paced them to the top of the Division. 

Coach-of-the-Year Engel and his Rainy River team will battle as the #1 North seed in the MCAC / NJCAA Region XIII State Tournament on March 2-3-4 in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.         

Click here for more on RRCC Athletics:                                                                                                             


                                                 The Minnesota College Athletic Conference would like to extend a sincere 'thank you' to Gopher Sport and their continued support of coaches, athletic directors and sports professionals. 

Gopher Sport serves as the lead sponsor for Coach-of-the-Year awards in the MCAC; COY honors are voted on by head coaches in their respective sport at the conclusion of regular season schedules.  The MCAC is home to league competitions in Football, Volleyball, Soccer (M/W), Golf, Basketball (M/W), Softball and Baseball.  


Gopher Sport, based in Owatonna, is an industry leader in Physical Education, sports and fitness equipment.  

Gopher Sport is dedicated to providing programs and departments with the products to improve fitness, develop skills, create fun and reach a high standard of learning and living. Gopher Sport has diligently served teachers, coaches and athletic directors around the world for over 65 years.