Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Kampfer, Stanley Cup set to visit Ann Arbor
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Writer
Steven Kampfer took the hand-
off from Tuukka Rask and raised
the silver Stanley Cup skyward,
looking up into the rafters at Rog-
ers Arena in Vancouver.
The season didn't go the way
he'd imagined, but the ending was
better than he ever hoped.
Althought injured, Kampfer
won the Stanley Cup as a mem-
ber of the Boston Bruins on June
15. The former defenseman on the
Michigan hockey team will get to
spend some quality time with the
But he won't take it to Disney
World or Disneyland, as some
have done before him. Nor will
he take it to a horse stall and let a
Kentucky Derby winner eat out of
the Cup as Ed Olczyk did in 1994.
And he most certainly will not use
it for a baptism in Sweden, like
Tomas Holmstrom did in 2008.
Kampfer has plans for a far
more traditional date with the
"I'm a firm believer of 'You've
got to remember your roots,' "
a Kampfer intends to bring the
celebrated trophy around Ann
Arbor and to Yost Ice Arena - his
old stomping ground. Kampfer left
the Wolverines only one year ago.
He wants to show the Cup
to Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson and to the rest of the
coaching staff as a sign of appreci-
ation. He may not be at Michigan
anymore, but Kampfer under-
stands, now more than ever, the
impact that Michigan has had on
him as a person and.as a player.
After beginning' the season
with the Providence Bruins in the
American Hockey League, Kamp-
fer arrived in Boston in early
December. Upon arriving with the
Bruins, he knew that he was going
to get playing time. Kampfer also
knew that the amount of time he
spent on the ice was going to be
determined by how well he played.
This was nothing new to him.
Playing for Michigan had pre-
pared him for this.
"The thing with Michigan is
that Red runs it like a profession-
al organization there," Kampfer
said. "Something that Red's been
known for is that you have to go in
and you have to earn everything.
So when I stepped into Boston, I
think that was one of the things
that helped me."
Kampfer was prepared for
every little thing he came across.
Whether it was facing adversity
or earning his spot in the rotation,
Michigan's presence was always
Even though the Jackson, Mich.
native joined the Michigan hockey
team as an established recruit, he
admits that nothing prepared him
for life in the National Hockey
League as much as playing for
Berenson and the Wolverines.
He maintains that one of the
most underrated aspects of play-
ing for the Michigan hockey pro-
gram is the opportunity to play
with and practice against great
players on a daily basis.
But still, his praise for the
coaching staff is endless.
The expectations were set high
for him as a Wolverine - they
were set high for all of his team-
mates - because Berenson and his
assistants really wanted everyone
to succeed, and they pushed him
to improve. They helped build him
into the player he is now.
"Red's a phenomenal coach,"
Kampfer said. "I learned so much
from him. I learned so much from
all three coaches. They really help
you get ready for the next level."
And Kampfer hasn't stopped
learning from them.
He continued to keep in contact
with all three coaches after grad-
uating from Michigan last year,
and received instruction from the
coaches throughout the season.
Every couple of weeks, he would
talk with assistant coach Billy
Powers about his recent games
and how he could make adjust-
Former Michigan defenseman Steven Kampfer won the Stanley Cup this month.
ments and continue to improve. With the Michigan hockey
Kampfer has a profound respect program rooted deep inside him,
for Berenson and his fellow coach- Kampfer became an integral part
es, Powers and then-associate of the Bruins. Before suffering an
head coach Mel Pearson. injury in early April, he contrib-
And it's easy to understand why. uted five goals and five assists o4
"You're still getting help from the offensive end.
them when you're away from the While Kampfer is unsure of the
program because they want their exact day he will be spending with
players to succeed," Kampfer said. the Stanley Cup, he seems pretty
"They want everyone to do well. certain in his destination.
"Michigan is a family. That's "I definitely would like to take
something you realize when it to Yost and take it around An4
you're there but you learn more Arbor because (I) spent four years
about when you're gone." there," Kampfer said. "It's home."
Whitten selected as ninth coach in program history
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Writer
For the last five years, Andrew
Sapp and Chris Whitten worked
side-by-side, helping the Michigan
men's golf team reach new heights
while transforming it into an elite
But when Sapp stepped down
from his position as head coach and
departed from the golf program
just over a week ago to become the
head coach at North Carolina, the
tandem was split up and Whitten's
future was uncertain.
But before he left, Sapp recom-
mended to the Athletic Depart-
ment that they promote Whitten,
citing the impact he had on the
Wolverines' improvement over the
last five years.
Sapp voiced that Whitten was a
perfect fit to fill the head coaching
Sapp wasn't sure how much his
words meant to the administra-
tion, but he hoped that they would
And to the surprise of very few,
Michigan Athletic Director Dave
Brandon listened, hiring Whitten
to fill the void left by Sapp.
"I think that Dave Brandon felt
comfortable enough with what we
had built that he thought that I
would be a good candidate," Whit-
ten said. "I feel really, really fortu-
nate to have this opportunity and
now I just go to capitalize on it."
While Whitten is a young and
relatively inexperienced coach,
his track record at Michigan is all
Brandon needed to see to choose
Whitten as the right person to
become the ninth head coach in
While Michigan began improv-
ing the day Sapp was hired nine
years ago, the Wolverines' ascent
to the top of the rankings acceler-
ated with the hiring of Whitten.
He has helped build Michigan into
a dominant force.
With Whitten as an assistant,
the Wolverines have received a bid
to the NCAA Regional in the last
four seasons, even winning the
program's first team regional title
this past year. Michigan advanced
to the NCAA Championships and
finished in the top 10 twice in the
last three years.
Whitten also helped the Wol-
verines capture eight tournament
wins, while five of his players at
Michigan have earned eight med-
But perhaps nothing displays
how valuable Whitten has been
to the Wolverines more than his
appearance as a finalist over the
past two years for the Jan Strick-
land Award, which is presented to
the top assistant coach in all NCAA
Modestly, Whitten points to
Sapp as one of the main reasons
he was such an effective assistant
coach, stating that he had such an
immense impact on player devel-
opment because of the free reign
he was given.
And his experience as an assis-
tant coach has given Whitten a
valuable familiarity with the stu-
dent-athletes on the squad, so he
will feel comfortable managing the
group and managing the program
on a day-to-day basis.
The Wolverines will also not
have to worry about adjusting to a
new coaching style. While Whitten
might make some minor adjust-
ments, he coaches very similarly to
"Coach Sapp and I are fairly
close in philosophy in how we
coach and how we recruit," Whit-
ten said. "There might be some
small tweaks on the recruiting trail
or with daily practices, but overall,
we've got a great groundwork and
"It's more or less the same group
of players, minus the two seniors,
that are coming back. The team ha@
developed a nice personality and
we want to keep that intact"
It doesn't hurt either that the
Rockford, Mich. native has a
great understanding of golf and
the golf community in the state
of Michigan. Whitten hopes tha*
understanding will give him and
the Wolverines an added boost in
recruiting top-tier golfers.
"I can't wait to get the boys back
in the fall and get started as soon as
possible," Whitten said.