GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The UND Champions Tour replaces the Super-Swing when the nickname change happened. It’s a series of golf outings around the region where coaches and administrators meet, greet and play golf with Fighting Hawks fans.
Thursday morning, the Champions Tour stopped at Hawktree in Bismarck. For Head Hockey Coach Brad Berry, it’s been extremes in his first two seasons as head coach. UND won the title his first year, and then last season things didn’t end where the program wanted them to.
"The first year when I took over the program we had a lot of good players that were a big part of our culture," said Berry. "And then after we won the national championship, there was a mass exudes of players going to the NHL and they went right to the NHL, they didn't go to the minors. And then from there, we had to start building our group again. Over the course of the last three years we've have nine players part our program for the NHL ,and what our thing is to try and have sustainability of trying to keep guys around three or four years when they come to UND and also have good young players trying to make an impact right away. So I think it's one of those things where trying to recruit the right way but also when you have players in your group to try and keep them around a little bit longer."
The UND football team will only be in the Big Sky Conference a little bit longer. Head Coach Bubba Schweigert was also at Hawktree, and he says they’ve started working on the eventual move to the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
"We were always building our football team to play a lot like the Missouri Valley teams play,” Schweigert said. “We think that's a recipe of success. How we want to play football and be successful in that league and we're really excited about getting into that league. It really helps us in recruiting right now because our recruiting footprint is in the Midwest and we need to do a good job within five hours of Grand Forks. We've always felt that way and now we'll be playing in a Midwest league in 2020 so I think it's really going to match what we do recruiting wise right now and it will also be where we play."
The Fighting Hawks open the football season on Aug. 30 against Mississippi Valley State.