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Chip Scoggins

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4484

Chip Scoggins is a sports columnist and enterprise writer for the Star Tribune. He previously covered the Vikings, Gophers football, Wild, Wolves and high school sports in nearly 19 years at the paper.


Scoggins was born in Missouri but moved to Tennessee when he was only a few months old and lived there until he was 20. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a journalism degree. He worked at newspapers in Texas, Connecticut, North Carolina and Chicago before joining the Star Tribune in 2000.
Recent content from Chip Scoggins
Minnesota Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) warmed up before Wednesday's game. 

]   Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com 

The M

Scoggins: Knowing his purpose, QB Morgan ready to lead Gophers after father's death

Ted Morgan was so proud of his son — and it wasn't just because Tanner Morgan overcame long odds to become a standout Big Ten quarterback.
Wild owner Craig Leipold, left, and General Manager Bill Guerin have shown a willingness to make bold, risky moves in trying to build a contender.

Scoggins: Wild's big mistake with Parise and Suter? There wasn't one

Wild owner Craig Leipold did what fans should hope pro sports owners do: invest, roll the dice and try to win the big one.
Signing Jose Berrios to a long-term extension needs to be on the front office’s to-do list.

Scoggins: If current Twins management fails, it'll be because of pitching

The Twins have nose-dived from fourth in team ERA last season to 27th so far this season. Their pitching woes and self-inflicted mistakes were highlighted again this week.
Athletic director Phil Esten has answered the phone and done roughly 999 other things during the school’s big jump to Division I.

Scoggins: Inside the incredible leap happening in St. Thomas sports

Recruiting, coaching staff, facilities, ticketing, sports medicine — you name it, St. Thomas is changing it. The Tommies are officially Division I now.
Twins third baseman Luis Arraez called time at second base on Wednesday.

Scoggins: Stuck. How else to describe these Twins?

A major rebuild would be tough sell to the Twins' fanbase, so keep your expectations at the trade deadline modest.
Joel Bauman wrestled for the Gophers in 2010 — here going against teammate Scott Schiller. Three years later, he quit the team when the NCAA told hi

Scoggins: Score one for the NCAA resisters with Supreme Court's unanimous decision

The U.S. Supreme Court essentially told the NCAA to shove it this past week, too, voting 9-0 against the governing body in an antitrust case that will change the way college sports operate.
Teammates and Minnesota United fans celebrated with Franco Fragapane (7) after he scored in the first half.

Scoggins: Sports as they should be. Full house lights the night at Allianz Field

Take a can of soda, shake it for 15 seconds and then open it. That's how the stadium looked when Minnesota United scored two early goals in Wednesday night's victory.
Aaron Pike of Park Rapids already is a two-time veteran of both the Summer and Winter Paralympics.

Scoggins: Minnesotan Aaron Pike is a competitor for all seasons

Summer and winter, the Park Rapids native vies for spots on U.S. Paralympic Teams. His calendar looks like a slacker's worst nightmare.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches his players during the first day of minicamp.

Scoggins: Zimmer takes stick of dynamite to defense after dreadful 2020

Adding 11 defensive free agents gave coach Mike Zimmer everything he wanted to reconstruct the Vikings defense, including the return of Danielle Hunter.
Mitch Garver reacts after a foul ball hit him in the groin on June 1 in Baltimore. He hasn’t played since.

Scoggins: 'Super exposed.' Garver shares the pain of a catcher's life

Catchers accept a certain degree of occupational hazard. Foul tips are going to sting body parts. Mitch Garver knows both the risks and the rewards.
Josh Donaldson struck out twice and popped out to right field against Gerrit Cole. Donaldson finished the game 0-for-5.

Scoggins: Yankees' Cole uses his best stuff, sticks it to accuser Donaldson

Gerrit Cole on the mound, Josh Donaldson in the batter's box and a week's worth of headlines about sticky substances and spin rates ended in a mismatch.
Minneapolis North starting quarterback Zach Yeager

Scoggins: Minnesota's 2021 seniors reach finish line in a class all their own

High school seniors in the class of 2021 hold a special place, with a pandemic testing them in ways we can't fully comprehend.
New Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson is getting a crash course on roster fluidity. All but one returning player on the roster entered the

Scoggins: Unending recruiting battles ahead as we enter transfer portal era

Fail to lure top recruits out of high school? Be patient, coach. You might woo them on the second or third time around as the traditional recruiting model has suddenly become obsolete.
Target Center underwent $140M in renovations recently but it’s still the second-oldest arena in NBA. Is it time to replace it?.

Scoggins: Next Wolves owners may seek new arena or move

Will the Wolves new owners really want to spend winters living here and view this opportunity as a chance to establish deeply connected civic roots? That likely hinges on the arena situation.
Marcus Foligno (17) connected with a right to the jaw of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden (22) in the third period. Jordan Greenway looked

Scoggins: Big-boy hockey by Wild gives team momentum for Game 7

If you ever want to see what a team that doesn't want its season to end looks like, just watch a replay of the Wild's 3-0 win over the Golden Knights.
Max Kepler

Scoggins: If the Twins become sellers, where do they start?

It's hard to know who are the Twins' core players to keep for the future.
A group of Russian American Wild fans reacted to a Wild goal in the second period during a playoff game between the Wild and the Vegas Knights at Cowb

Scoggins: An ode to Kirill Kaprizov, from his Russian countrymen

A group of fans who share the Wild rookie's homeland pay tribute on social media and in gatherings.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot got in position to stop a shot by Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault during the second period Sunday in Las Vegas.

Scoggins: Goalies put on master class with Talbot as the grandmaster

One goaltender was spectacular. The other was perfect. Game 1 was a master class of puck-stopping with Cam Talbot doing what the Wild were hoping for when he was signed as a free agent.
Kirill Kaprizov, center, celebrated with Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Hartman after a Wild goal earlier this month against Vegas.

Scoggins: With dynamic Kirill Kaprizov aboard, forget the Wild's playoff past

The rookie has an ability the team has lacked: He can change the game in a heartbeat.
The Wolves gathered after pregame introductions on Sunday before beating Orlando.

Scoggins: It's tanking time in the NBA, and Wolves refuse to play along

The whole objective of the Timberwolves master plan is finding out how well the pieces they have acquired can fit together — even in the final week of a disappointing season.
Wild coach Dean Evason

Scoggins: Wild GM Guerin found 'his guy' right down the hall

Bill Guerin's decision last summer to buck convention and stay in-house to hire a full-time Wild head coach looks smart so far. The team is 42-21-5 in one-plus seasons under Dean Evason, and it will finish the regular season this week as one of the three best teams in its division.
A fan in the stands held up a ‘Fire Rocco’ sign during Wednesday night’s loss, referring to Twins manager Rocco Baldelli

Scoggins: For Twins' latest total system failure, check out the bullpen

The makeover hasn't worked; Twins relievers so far this season are putting up some of baseball's worst numbers.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman loves to stockpile draft picks, but this year he needs to focus on quality picks at key positions.

Scoggins: Don't buy the subterfuge: Vikings must draft for quality

Given GM Rick Spielman's propensity for draft maneuvering, does anyone really believe he will be able to sit patiently between picks 14 and 78 and do nothing?
St. Thomas men’s basketball coach Johnny Tauer and his wife Chancey posed for a portrait in their St. Paul home.

Scoggins: St. Thomas coach Tauer's family story is tough to top

Making the big leap from Division III to D-I basketball might be the easy part of life for St. Thomas men's coach Johnny Tauer.
A Vikings workout before the 2019 season.

Scoggins: Vikings won't attend OTAs. Are they missing anything vital?

Are those workouts really that essential? Couldn't players get all the preparation needed during training camp. Here are some answers, on a scale of 1 to 10.
University of Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck during spring practice at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday morning. brian.peterson@startribune.com Minneapolis,

Scoggins: This Gophers football team is old — and that's good

Circumstances have combined to make the Gophers football team experienced at some key positions. "Depth changes a lot of things," coach P.J. Fleck said.
Minnesota Twins first baseman Miguel Sano (22) looked back after getting out on a pop fly to Boston Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec (23) in the sec

Scoggins: Twins sticking with Sano. But how long can that last?

Miguel Sano's at-bats have become frustrating to watch. His batting average is the worst in the league and he has six times as many strikeouts as hits.
Chaska celebrated its 45-43 win against Rosemount for the 4A championship on Friday night.

Scoggins: Minnesota basketball and its kids deserved these moments of joy

Unlike last year, when COVID-19 was still in its beginning stages, both the boys' and girls' basketball tournaments crowned champions this weekend.
Byron Buxton brings a complete game to the Twins, one that fans should enjoy.

Scoggins: Twins fans, sit back and enjoy Buxton's versatility during the home opener

As the Twins open another schedule at Target Field, it offers promise of a new season and the multiple talents of Byron Buxton.
Houston forward Reggie Chaney (32) fights for the opening tipoff with Baylor forward Flo Thamba (0) Saturday

Scoggins: Sea change benefiting athletes is brewing in college sports

Amateurism, transfer portals and pay are among issues that need sorting out.
FILE - UConn guard Paige Bueckers (5) shoots against Xavier during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Cincinnati, in this Saturday,

For Paige Bueckers, no stage is too big and no brother is too small

Her basketball skills and personality have attracted over one million followers on social media. But she always has time for a kid brother who calls her "Paige-y."
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Alex Colome (48) in a portrait made on the team’s Spring Training Photo Day.   ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@start

Scoggins: Will Twins bullpen makeover work? We'll know quickly

Going to the bullpen, now the most common exercise in modern baseball, will have fresh drama for the Twins this spring.
Wolves rookie Anthony Edwards shot over former Wolves player Justin Patton during the fourth quarter Saturday, when Edwards scored 27 points but Houst

Scoggins: Difficulties or not, make Edwards, not Russell, the sidekick for KAT

Ignore the struggles and count on the rookie. He's the 1A of the future.
New Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson listened to athletic director Mark Coyle speak at Tuesday’s press conference.

Scoggins: Hiring Johnson is rebuke of Pitino's years coaching Gophers

What was the biggest criticism of Richard Pitino? That he took a detached and inconsistent approach to recruiting Minnesota despite this state's reputation as a hotbed for prep talent.
Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said he understands the frustration of fans who can’t watch the team because they don’t have access to Fox

Scoggins: Teams losing fans fast in the FSN-streaming fight

Multiple people familiar with the situation said local franchises with FSN ties are looking at viewership losses of between one-quarter and one-third of their audience. That's big, and sobering.
The Vikings’ defensive line could get a quick fix with Danielle Hunter returning from neck injury and nose tackle Michael Pierce making his debut af

Scoggins: Vikings must fix offensive, defensive lines, or brace for change

The Vikings so far have improved the defense in free agency, but it is only a small start toward repairing two inadequate position groups.
Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle met virtually with media on Tuesday to address the firing of men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino.

Scoggins: Coyle needs OK to spend what's needed to hire right coach

Hiring a cheap replacement for Richard Pitino likely will put athletic director Mark Coyle and Gophers men's basketball back in this same spot in another few years.
Bracket breakdown: Chip Scoggins picks winners, players to watch

Bracket breakdown: Chip Scoggins picks winners, players to watch

What to watch and who to watch now that the brackets have been revealed for the tournament, which starts with Thursday's play-in games.
Richard Pitino stood on the elevated Williams Arena court during a scrimmage in October 2017. The Barn might be revered by some fans, but the coaches

Scoggins: Fans, Williams Arena are a part of Gophers men's basketball coach's challenges

Four Division I coaches offered their thoughts on the difficulties for Richard Pitino or any potential successor.
Members of the Rochester Lourdes girls’ basketball team left Williams Arena after the MSHSL announced the cancellation of the state tournament on Ma

Scoggins: Sports makes a comeback, after a year of weightier concerns

Last March, the coronavirus ushered in a time of confusion, loneliness and sorrow in all of our lives and interrupted sports as we knew it. This March, as the winter tournament season launches and Opening Day approaches, it's time for a new emotion: Hope.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino’s tenure is summed up as this: bad luck, bad recruiting, not enough player development and too much instability.

Scoggins: Basketball coaching change next logical step for Coyle

Following an uneven, unsuccessful season for the Gophers men's basketball team, a coaching change is inevitable.
Wild assistant captain Zach Parise

Scoggins: Parise's benching was about more than one bad shift

Seeing Zach Parise benched certainly was jarring considering his stature and salary, but it really shouldn't be all that surprising. This isn't his team anymore.
Gersson Rosas has endured a bumpy two years since taking over as Wolves president of basketball operations.

Scoggins: With Saunders gone, Wolves mess now belongs to Rosas

There is no one but Gersson Rosas to blame if the team doesn't soon show significant improvement. The firing of Ryan Saunders means the team's punching bag has been removed.
“Everything we did was not real good,” coach Richard Pitino said after Saturday’s 31-point loss to Illinois.

Scoggins: Gophers second-half play against Illinois an embarrassment

The rest of this season feels doomed. Maybe the Gophers can rally and find a spark, but what evidence is there that something unexpected is right around the corner?
Eduardo Arteaga at Theodore Wirth Park.

From South America to Wirth Park, the trail of a world-class skier

Eduardo Arteaga moved from Venezuela to Minneapolis, discovered winter and became a world-class skier. He's in Germany competing in the Nordic World Ski Championships.
Guard Marcus Carr and the Gophers have been stunningly good in beating Michigan and Ohio State, and stunningly bad in games such as Sunday’s 72-59 l

Scoggins: Can't even tell if Gophers are overachieving or underachieving

The Gophers men's basketball team has completed three-quarters of its season, and never has one of Richard Pitino's squads been this maddening to figure out.
Nelson Cruz leads a Twins lineup that again looks potent and the defense should be improved. But are the Twins ready for the next step?

Scoggins: Twins look good again on paper, but a higher bar is in play

If the Twins stay relatively healthy they should be in contention to three-peat the Al Central division title. But are they constructed in a way that makes them a legitimate World Series contender?
Tyler Johnson celebrated the Buccaneers’ victory at the end of NFL Super Bowl LV on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. The Bucs defeated the Chiefs 31-9.

Scoggins: Super Bowl champ Johnson celebrated on sweet day in north Minneapolis

Buccaneers rookie receiver and former Gophers star Tyler Johnson added another chapter to his story, one we should keep repeating for all ears (especially the young ones) to hear.
Jose Berrios is exciting to watch as a pitcher; as a hitter, not so much. Keep the universal DH.

Scoggins: Some pandemic-driven changes in sports are worth keeping around

Some rule changes in sports in response to COVID-19 have improved the product, so much so that some should be permanent, not temporary, when life returns to "normal."
Wild first-round draft pick Marco Rossi has dealt with complications in his recovery from COVID-19.

Scoggins: Top draft choice's illness is reality check on athletes and COVID

The news hit with a somber jolt when the Wild announced that first-round draft pick Marco Rossi had returned to Austria to recover after experiencing complications from COVID-19.
St. Charles varsity basketball players Noah Disbrow (left) and Harper Schaber coached the freshman team on Jan. 29.

Scoggins: Two communities come through for athletes to show us what's possible

When coaches in southern Minnesota were quarantined by COVID, players dressed the part and in filled in. In northern Minnesota, parents created a special night to recognize an opponent's star player.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck has the energy and experienced the success other programs envy, so he’s always going to be part of the coaching ru

Scoggins: Gophers fans need to get used to annual rumors for Fleck's departure

A young, energetic coach that has a good track record? Yes, other teams are going to express their interest in hiring him.
Minnesota guard Gabe Kalscheur (22) took an outside shot as Maryland guard Eric Ayala (5) reached to block in the first half.

Scoggins: Pitino must address the Gophers' poor shooting liability

Saturday's home loss further exposed a glaring Gophers basketball deficiency that can only be fixed in recruiting. They took 23 three-point shots, made only five and the offense deteriorated.
Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino played one-on-one with his daughter, Ava, before the start of a team scrimmage in 2018.

Scoggins: Pitino's weekend of joy included too many moments of sorrow

Richard Pitino watched his team play its best game of the season at a largely silent Barn. Then he almost teared up watching his 9-year-old daughter play in her game.
Play-by-play man Mike Grimm used four remote video feeds — some less fuzzy than others — in a room at TCF Bank Stadium to call last Sunday’s Gop

Scoggins: A Grimm look at broadcasting sports 300 miles from the action

Gophers men's basketball voice Mike Grimm has four camera angles on his monitor when calling road games, and hopes one is clear enough to show who has the ball.
Randall Smith is hopeful that his car detailing business will be aided by a $250,000 donation from the Vikings.

Minnesota teams pledged $40M for justice. Where is it going?

George Floyd's death spurred aggressive commitments of financial support and team involvement. Recipients sense a new desire from owners and athletes to create genuine relationships that go deeper than in the past.
Alabama running back Najee Harris scored a touchdown against Ohio State during the second half of the College Football Playoff national championship g

Scoggins: It's time College Football Playoff expands to eight-team field

Reruns are for sitcoms, not sports. Now after Alabama has yet another national title, let's freshen up the field and invite more than the same small set of power schools each year.
Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu were Wild mainstays, but Staal, 36, is now with Buffalo and Koivu, 37, is playing for Columbus.

Scoggins: Wild's changes met with excitement, not trepidation

Bill Guerin's roster makeover rings of a major shift from business-as-usual for the organization.
Coach Mike Zimmer watched the second-half action as the Vikings battled the Lions in Detroit on Sunday.

Scoggins: Zimmer's legacy as Vikings coach hinges on this offseason

The Wilfs should start by issuing an edict to their coach and GM Rick Spielman: Missing the playoffs again next season won't be acceptable.
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) tried to muscle through Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns last season.

Scoggins: Towns needs to lead Wolves' defensive revival

Karl-Anthony Towns, so skilled and important, needs to stop being awful on defense for the team to have a chance at being successful.
Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal (45) sacks Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan during the second half

Scoggins: After all those mistakes, Gophers suffer well-deserved loss in Madison

Even when the Badgers seemed intent on gift-wrapping the Axe to the Gophers with one of the most bizarre play-calls you'll ever see, Minnesota did nothing with it. This was a game of failed execution.
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz, son of former Gophers player Ron Mertz.

Scoggins: In this border battle, former Gophers player backs the Badgers

It took some getting used to but former Gophers football player Ron Mertz has all his support behind son Graham, the starting quarterback at Wisconsin.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck will be allowed to spend more money on football scholarships, per NCAA rules and Mark Coyle’s looming decision.

Scoggins: Giving Gophers football special treatment right call, even if it looks unfair

Other Gophers head coaches heard "No" on extra scholarship spending this year. P.J. Fleck will hear "Yes." That decision is necessary if the university wants to keep pace with other schools.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan threw a pass during the first half of Saturday’s game at Nebraska.

Scoggins: Gophers' Morgan shows passing skill that Huskers' Martinez lacks

The Gophers asked their QB to throw when necessary. The Huskers avoided that option.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck.

Scoggins: College football taking on pandemic, in retrospect, worthy of a few cheers

Everyone is making sacrifices right now. College athletes included.
Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson celebrated his 20-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter as Jaguars free safety Jarrod Wilson, center, and J

Scoggins: Final act will define this strangest of Vikings seasons

With a record of 6-6, things feel like ... what, exactly? Not a lost cause but not raging optimism as the Vikings prepare for the final four games of the regular season.
The Vikings had an undeniable mismatch Sunday when Justin Jefferson was covered by Jaguars cornerback Luq Barcoo.

Scoggins: Vikings should target passes to Jefferson more, more, more

However many times rookie receiver Justin Jefferson gets targeted each game — that number was 12 on Sunday vs. Jacksonville — it's probably not enough.
The Gophers celebrated with Paul Bunyan's Axe after beating Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium in 2018.

Scoggins: Give us Gophers-Badgers on Dec. 19, Big Ten

Rather than play a Big Ten East Division team, the Gophers should be allowed to make up their canceled game with the Badgers instead.
Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller (32) kicks off in the second half against Missouri at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.

Scoggins: Kicking in glass ceilings made for a November to remember

Girls all over this country were inspired when kicker Sarah Fuller took the field for Vanderbilt to open the second half of Saturday's game with another piece of sports history.
John Stock with his homemade replica of Paul Bunyan's Axe.

Scoggins: Canceled game cancels trip from Singapore (and other odd Axe stories)

University graduate Neil Mumm is among the fans who are missing the annual Paul Bunyan Axe rivalry this weekend. So is a guy who turned heads and found a new friend by walking into a bar with his own Axe.
Richard Pitino might have his deepest team yet when the Gophers tip off on Wednesday night.

Scoggins: Pitino has built strong U roster for strange season ahead

Add this to the list of unexpected things of 2020: Gophers men's basketball has a deep, stable roster.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck

Scoggins: When COVID hits college football, to play or not remains confounding

A controversial finish by the Gophers over Purdue overshadowed the main topic pregame: 22 players did not suit up, leaving them with only 61 scholarship players available. Is this worth it?
Iowa wide receiver Nico Ragaini ran the ball for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Gophers last Friday night.

Scoggins: U's defensive drop-off was expected, but not this calamity

From 10th to 93rd in total defense. From 36th to 99th in scoring defense. This has been a staggering U-turn for the Gophers' defense in only one season.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins reacts in front of teammate running back Dalvin Cook

Scoggins: Poised Cousins comes through and season feels relevant again

The maligned quarterback more than filled in the gaps on a night when other parts of the Vikings' game weren't as good as they needed to be.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck walked the sideline with his head down in the second half as Iowa extended its lead

Scoggins: Blown-out Gophers badly overmatched by Iowa

Outplayed and outcoached are just two words that apply to what transpired Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium, where the Gophers lost yet again to rival Iowa.