Q&A with new digital reporter, Gophers rinkside reporter Bobbie Bohlig
St. Cloud native Bobbie Bohlig, FOX Sports North’s new digital reporter and Minnesota Gophers hockey rinkside reporter took some time out to answer a few questions about herself and her sports background. Below she discusses returning to Minnesota, her previous history with Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzoko, lessons learned on the job, why she gave up golf in college and much more.
Being from Minnesota, how easy was it to come back home for this job?
I’d say it was probably the easiest decision I ever made. I listened to Tom Hanneman’s and Dick Bremer’s voice coming from my basement on a nightly basis while growing up in St. Cloud, so it’s a real privilege to be able to actually work along side of them, to be able to work with people you grew up watching on TV. So, a very easy decision.
You didn’t just grow up in Minnesota, you went to school here as well.
I went to Mankato for three years, played golf there, then my senior year they told me if you’re really serious about this broadcasting thing we’d advise you to go to St. Cloud State. And you never hear a Maverick tell someone to go to be a Husky, so I was like, alright. I quit the golf team, which was super hard because I’ve played it all my life, and moved back home. The first year I worked with the basketball team and the baseball team. The next year I got the rinkside position with Husky hockey and of course got to know (then-St. Cloud head coach) Bob Motzko.
What’s been your favorite sport to cover?
I loved covering hockey when I was at St. Cloud State. Then, I moved to Lynchburg, Virginia and ice hockey is really not a thing out there, unfortunately. If you ask anyone out there I belong in hockey! Other than hockey, I love covering college football. There’s nothing like covering Saturday gameday at a college football field.
What was it like being around coach Motzko back then when you were at St. Cloud State?
I used to teach a junior camp for golf at Boulder Ridge (golf course) every Thursday, and coach Motzko’s son came for about five of the six years, I believe. He was a blond kid who always wore Gophers stuff. I figured out his dad was Motzko. At first I didn’t realize that Motzko used to coach at the U, but I kept thinking “Why is his son wearing Gophers stuff?” Because he was coaching St. Cloud State. I still remember his son telling me he was going to play at the U someday. But that’s how I first met Bob Motzko, through his son. And then covering his team was kind of the first time I was part of a real production. Reporting for FOX Sports North a couple times was awesome. But I couldn’t have asked for a better coach to work with for my first year. He was super helpful. One of the best things we did together was a sit-down interview him being the coach for the U.S. World Juniors team. I think it was the first time I saw Bob Motzko crack a smile (laughs). He’s a pretty serious guy and he’s a great coach but making him smile I’d say was a bonus.
Are you ready for the Minnesota weather after 2 1/2 years in Virginia?
I don’t know, I guess. I was telling my family – I don’t know how to explain it. I kind of missed the Minnesota weather. It’s fun to have four seasons. In Virginia, every day is the same – it’s either 50 or 80 degrees. Minnesota people who don’t ever leave the state don’t know how lucky we are. I’m a big Minnesota fan (laughs).
What were your duties in your time in Lynchburg?
I was a co-anchor for the coach’s show which was called “Game On,” but my biggest role was sideline reporting for Liberty University football, men’s basketball and baseball. Their football program was in a transition going to FBS. Hugh Freeze is their coach now. Our basketball team made it to March Madness, which was awesome. And our baseball team made it to regionals against North Carolina. So, it was fun. If you saw the coach that coached Liberty basketball, his name is Richie McKay, he used to coach with Tony Bennett, he’s probably the coach I learned the most from at my time at Liberty.
What kind of things did you learn from McKay?
He’s all about high character. That’s what I was going to say is one of my favorite parts of covering sports — learning and applying the culture from the different programs I’ve worked with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in one of Richie McKay’s huddles or a quarterback huddle — the high-pressure situations — and the life lessons you learn in those. I’m someone that’s all about learning from other people and applying it to my own life. There’s so many times Richie McKay talked about high character and discipline. You just learn a lot of them, I guess (laughs).
What people will get to know about me is I’m passionate about people. I love telling these athletes’ stories.
You also were involved in a ministry?
Faith is a big part of my journey. I think God has opened some pretty crazy doors for me. Richie McKay said it best: You should always have someone to look up to, at the same time you should also always bring someone up with you. I started “girls night out” ministry for high school girls. It’s just about empowering and encouraging them in finding their purpose and who they are. They still have it going (in Virginia, after she moved) and then I just started it here.
You seem like you grew up around sports – playing three sports in high school and golf in college.
I grew up with two brothers and a dad who was obsessed with sports and any time you want to try and hang out with them you probably have to learn how to play some sports. I learned how to run some routes in the front yards, that transferred over to shooting hoops in the backyard and then, of course, my dad got me out on the golf course – which I didn’t really like at first, but once I started to hit a drive in the air then I really started to like it. My first love was actually basketball. I played AAU all in high school. I was a four-year letter winner in high school but decided to go the golf route because I got a full scholarship to Mankato, otherwise it probably would have been basketball. My family is probably one of the most competitive families that there is. We play (golf) on Sundays a lot. You might think it was the Masters 18th hole, but no, it’s just a family scramble, but we get pretty competitive (laughs).
Have you ever had a hole-in-one?
I do, I have one. It was in a match play tournament at Edina Country Club.
You have to remember all the details of that, right?
It was actually crazy. I played with St. Cloud State’s golfer at the time, and she was their No. 1, and I was at Mankato. We were at a match play tournament and the day before I hit the pin on that same hole, 145 yards. And I was like that was the closest I’ve ever been to a hole-in-one, I can’t believe it didn’t go in. So the next day I use the same club and the pin was a little bit to the right from where it was the day before and it bounced over it and then it came down and came right in. So, the second time was a charm. It was funny, my teammate at the time tackle me as we obviously won the hole with a hole-in-one. It was cool.
What else would you like people to know about you?
What people will get to know about me is I’m passionate about people. I love telling these athletes’ stories. One thing I learned at Liberty is you really can make an impact on someone’s life by telling these stories on how the athlete got there and how they overcame. I told you before I try to apply it to my own life, but there’s kids out there who want to be the next Max Kepler, and I think those stories really make a difference. That’s one of my favorite parts of being a storyteller, is hoping to impact one of those young kids watching it.