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An in-depth look at a piece of Division III

March 17, 2008

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Tasha RodgersPat MaloneyAli JaquesJeff Gibbs
Liz BondiMichael RhoadesDixie JeffersJason Kalsow
Faces of a champion

What does it take to win a national title? We asked ...

Paul Erickson, UW-Platteville

Bo Ryan, UW-Platteville coachThen: Sports Information Director, 1997, 1998 UW-Platteville national championship teams coached by Bo Ryan, right

Now: Sports Information Director, UW-Platteville

To win a national championship, you need ...

The belief you can win

“…the belief you can win. The Bo Ryan-coached UW-Platteville teams of the 1990s had that aura about them that they were going to win the game. I saw John Madden talking about Joe Montana during Super Bowl week, and he said something like 'it got so they knew the 49ers knew they would win, the fans knew they would win and when it got down to crunch time, the other team finally knew they would win.' That fit the Pioneer national championship teams. There were so many times it looked the Pioneers would be on the ropes, and they would respond with an incredible run to not only tie the game but establish a large lead. And the thing was, everyone knew that at some time during the game, it was coming.

"Building that belief you can win also makes it one of the great dichotomies of sport: you need a winning attitude before you can start consistently winning, but you have to win in order to develop that attitude. It's one of the things that makes coaching such a difficult profession!"

Next: Tasha Rodgers, Washington U.

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