Bernie Bierman and his Golden Gophers. In the decade from 1932 to 1941, Bierman and his team won 6 Big Ten Championships, 5 National Championships and had 5 undefeated seasons. They went 3 full seasons and into the 5th game of the 4th without a defeat. They were undefeated in 28 games and had 21 straight victories. Their numbers for the period were 63 wins, 12 defeats, and 5 ties.They lost only 8 Conference games.
Bernie was a native of Minnesota and an alum of the University. Most of his players were Minnesota boys. There were many All Americans among them and Minnesota's only Heisman Trophy winner, halfback, Bruce Smith. In the days before Twins. Vikings, Wolves and Wild, the Gophers were the only game in town. The town was the entire state of Minnesota. Young and old, rural and urban, college-educated and grade school graduate, professional and working man, the Gophers were their team. It was a decade of national depression, drought, high unemployment, but for 8 Saturdays every fall, Minnesotans could turn on their radios and listen to their Gophers as they won another one. Most of these fans were not University alums and most never expected to attend the U. Many perhaps had never even seen it. Bierman and those teams brought the people of the state an identity as Minnesotans. The Gophers gave them ownership in the University as nothing else had. Bierman and the Gophers gave them bragging rights and pride in Minnesota.
~Mary S. Lewerenz, Duluth, MN
Goldy is known all over the United States as representing Minnesota ...
~Debbie Walter, Bloomington, MN
We have so many gophers and their nasty mounds, we named a team after them!!
~Renee Kellerhuis, Scandia, MN