If a cup of coffee is not enough to get you going in the morning, try a motivational message from new Gopher football coach P.J. Fleck on May 23 in Owatonna.

The University of Minnesota athletic department announced last week that the Gopher road trip stops in Owatonna on Tuesday, May 23, at 8AM at the Holiday Inn. The event features about 10 Gopher coaches and athletic administration staff. The visit is free to attend and open to the public. Go to MyGopherSports.com to register.

The last time I heard Fleck speak, he inspired me to run 10 miles at Goldy's Run fundraiser for St. Jude's. I can only imagine the mountains we will move after hearing from the energetic first-year head football coach in Owatonna that morning. Men's basketball coach Richard Pitino, whose team is coming off an impressive season and appearance in the NCAA tournament, is also scheduled to be on hand. Men's hockey Don Lucia and athletics director Mark Coyle will also be in Owatonna. Goldy usually is part of the promotion, posing for pictures and spinning his head around if encouraged by the crowd.

In a press release emailed in KRFO, Coyle states, "I promised at my introductory press conference that we would do a better job of investing in our fans, who we ask to invest in us and our students. A lot goes into fulfilling that promise, but the Gopher road trip is certainly one piece of it."

This year's road trip has the most stops since 2013, according to the release. "On my very first day as the new athletics director last May, I hopped on the Gopher Road Trip bus, headed out into greater Minnesota and met hundreds of Gopher fans. It was an unforgettable day," Coyle said.

Other southern Minnesota stops include Winona and Rochester on May 22. The road trip visits Fairmont and New Ulm in addition to Owatonna on May 23. The next day, Redwood Falls and Hutchinson will host the Gopher contingent. A leg of the road trip travels to northern Minnesota in early June.

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