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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 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. Fu

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.
Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim has 10 touchdowns in three games, including this one against Michigan.

Scoggins: Ibrahim's relentless running traces back to one moment

Sophomore year in high school, his second game as a starting running back, facing one of the best teams in the state of Maryland. Mo Ibrahim remembers it vividly.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook sprinted into the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Lions on Sunday.

Scoggins: All that talk about not paying Dalvin Cook sounds silly now

A strong case can be made that Cook is the best all-around running back in the NFL. That's why the Vikings signed him to a big contract before the season started despite his injury history.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph could bring the Vikings a promising young player and/or draft picks in a trade.

Scoggins: Don't let beating Packers fool you. Vikings should be active traders

The NFL trade deadline is 3 p.m. today and if the Vikings can move a veteran or two in exchange for draft picks, they should go for it. Trade veterans, commit to young players, stockpile draft picks.
Aaron Rodgers fumbles as he is hit by Minnesota Vikings' rookie D.J. Wonnum on the final play of the game.

Scoggins: Maligned Vikings defense comes through despite more trauma

Another batch of injuries during Sunday's game forced the Vikings to make some moves on defense that not even Mike Zimmer could have imagined.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an incomplete pass as Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith applied pressure in Week 1.

Scoggins: A Packers week without intensity, animosity doesn't feel right

Remember when Packers week meant something? The excitement, the animosity, the extra significance of those two games each season?
Angie Stransky, a nurse administrator for Mayo Clinic Health System, tested Minnesota State Mankato hockey player Ryan Edquist for COVID-19 last week.

D-II, D-III sports restart could rest on NCAA testing rules decision

If the NCAA mandates that colleges test athletes three times per week, Minnesota schools will need to figure our how to get access and pay for thousands of tests.
COVID-19 concerns hovered over (clockwise from top) the Gophers, Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz and Purdue coach Jeff Brohm. And it's only Week 2.

Scoggins: Things may get weird, but it's good to have college football back

Every scout team member is a potential starter. The No. 3 quarterback might be running onto the field at some point. It's not ideal, but this is what we wanted.
Gophers defensive lineman MJ Anderson (3) and linebacker Cody Lindenberg (45) collided as they missed a tackle against Michigan wide receiver Giles Ja

Scoggins: For starters, Gophers' defense, special teams weren't remotely capable

An overmatched defense and absurd special teams — caused by COVID-19 absences and injuries — turned a highly anticipated opener into a one-sided contest. Michigan's offense basically did whatever it wanted all game.
Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, in 2019.

Scoggins: New faces, external factors bring uncertainty to U defense

Defenses in college football already play on a slanted field. How quickly the Gophers' new-look unit matures will determine whether P.J. Fleck's program takes the next step and wins the Big Ten West.
Big Ten football teams such as the Gophers are getting a late start to the 2020 season, but that ends this week. The Gophers open at TCF Bank Stadium

Scoggins: Gophers, Big Ten about to join football's season of chaos

"This is a completely different animal," Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. "It's preparing for ghosts, preparing for the unknown. You just have to be ready for it."
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown for 996 yards and 14 touchdowns in three games.

Chip Scoggins' 20 thoughts on the 2020 college football season

Welcome to the weirdest college football season on record.
Sid Hartman at a Timberwolves game, March 2, 2015.

Scoggins: What was Sid like? There's no simple way to answer

There is no adequate way to describe what it's like to work with Sid Hartman, but he was certainly a special colleague.
Seattle Seahawks' DK Metcalf (14) pulls in a long pass reception on the Seahawks' last series of an NFL football game as Minnesota Vikings' Cameron Da

Scoggins: Vikings can't convert fourth down ... and down to defeat they went

The game offered a basket full of headline-worthy developments, but coach Mike Zimmer's decision with two minutes to play will receive the most scrutiny.
Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks

Scoggins: Kendricks is a rock in the middle of Vikings defense

Any down, any situation, Eric Kendricks is the rock in middle of Vikings defense
Arrowhead Stadium had warning signs out to help protect both the fans and players before Monday's game between the Chiefs and Patriots.

Scoggins: NFL's COVID outbreak inevitable, but a bubble is unrealistic

The weekend's on-the-fly schedule changes were an inevitable outcome in the precarious pursuit of playing a full pro football season, however crass that might sound.
Scoggins: Two plays from two special players lead Vikings to victory

Scoggins: Two plays from two special players lead Vikings to victory

Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson on Sunday gave the Vikings' offense life and got the team into the win column for the first time this season.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer

Scoggins: Record NFL scoring pace is foreign, unwelcome territory for Zimmer

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer dreams at night about winning games 13-10. But low scoring isn't realistic right now, meaning his teams will have to win shootouts until the defense gets healthy and more experienced.
Adam Thielen laid dejected on the field in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Titans.

Scoggins: Victory in their grasp, Vikings throw it away

The Vikings on Sunday found a new way to lose as a slapstick finish wasted brilliant performances by Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Scoggins: It's a lengthy to-do list for Zimmer, the Vikings' 'Fixer'

Mike Zimmer billed himself as a 'Fixer' when he was hired, and at 0-2 heading into Sunday's date with Tennessee this feels like a hefty repair job.
Wide receiver Rashod Bateman (13) opted out of the 2020 Big Ten football season when the conference postponed its season. Now that the league has reve

Scoggins: Letting U's Bateman play should be easy call for the NCAA

This isn't complicated: The Big Ten flip-flopped on whether it is safe to play football this fall. Why can't Gophers star Rashod Bateman do the same?
A familiar sight: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was pressured by the Colts defense early and often on Sunday.

Scoggins: Zimmer on offense, 'Right now we're not very good at anything'

Kirk Cousins on Sunday finished with a 15.9 passer rating, the ninth-worst in team history. "It was just a poor day," he said. And it was. For him, his team, the whole operation.
A Minnesota Vikings fan watches during the second half of an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept.

Vikings fans find their way to Indianapolis

Plenty of Colts season-ticket holders who were able to score tickets to Sunday's game vs. the Vikings sold them on the secondary market. At a premium, in some cases. Capacity was capped at 2,500
From the pressbox at Notre Dame Stadium, you could spot the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus — as well as thousands upon thousands of empty seats.

Scoggins: Trip to sports cathedrals Wrigley, Notre Dame is lacking

The thrill of attending a sporting event is enhanced by the noise, the energy, the smells, the claustrophobic nature of fans cramming into a confined space. Remove all that and here's what it feels like.
The Twins' Josh Donaldson kicks dirt on home plate after his home run prompting umpire Dan Bellino to eject him from the game during the sixth inning

Scoggins: Think Donaldson's ejection was funny? Think again

Josh Donaldson's post-home run antics Thursday were selfish, completely unnecessary and hurt the Twins' chances in a crucial game.
An empty TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers.

Scoggins: Big Ten made right call, but now the onus is on players

There's no wiggle room on personal responsibility if the season is to play out properly.
Chris Streveler (against San Jose State in 2014) really didn't get to play much quarterback for the Gophers, who made him into a wide receiver. He tra

Scoggins: Streveler goes from Gophers transfer to NFL quarterback

The Gophers coaching staff had so little faith in Chris Streveler's skills that they ultimately moved him to wide receiver. Now he's Kyler Murray's backup with the Arizona Cardinals.