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Minnesota Sports Briefs: Twins overhaul coaching staff

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have let go four members of their coaching staff and re-assigned two others.

The team announced it would not renew contracts for third base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White, bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, and team trainer Rick McWane. Hitting coach Joe Vavra has been shifted to an infield instructor, while bench coach Scott Ullger will now oversee outfield instruction. Pitching coach Rick Anderson will remain in his position. Manager Ron Gardenhire is safe, as well. The Twins just completed their second consecutive season with at least 96 losses.

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Today will be the final day of training camp in Mankato for the Timberwolves. The team has spent the past four days practicing in the Bresnan Arena on the Minnesota State-Mankato campus. A final, three-hour practice is set to begin today at noon. The session is closed to the public.

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September. Harvin's 105-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff at Detroit last Sunday was the longest play in Vikings history. He leads the NFL with a 38.3-yard kick return average and returned 9 kickoffs for 345 yards as Minnesota went 3-and-1 last month. The Pro Bowl return specialist has 5 career kick return TDs in his first four seasons. This is Harvin's first player of the month award. Minnesota hosts Tennessee this Sunday for a 3:25 pm. game at the Metrodome.

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The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team is off this weekend. Minnesota hosts No. 22 ranked Northwestern on Saturday, October 13th at TCF Stadium. The Gophers had a season-opening four-game winning streak come to an end with a 31-13 loss at Iowa in their Big Ten opener last weekend. Northwestern is at Penn State tomorrow.

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The Minnesota DNR is sending notices to the six-thousand hunters and trappers selected for the state's first-ever wolf season. The letters were mailed to each lottery winner earlier this week. Officials say successful early-season applicants have until October 24th to buy their license. The D-N-R has sold about 300 licenses to lottery winners so far. The season is set to open November. More information about the wolf season and wolf management is available on the D-N-R's website (www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf)

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