SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - In the State of Hockey, Doug Woog has been a fixture for decades. He was a star for the University of Minnesota Gophers and eventually went on to coach. Soon, the arena where he spent countless hours playing hockey and teaching others could bear his name.
There’s a big push to change the Wakota arena’s name in South St. Paul to the Doug Woog arena, to honor the man who coached the Gophers to six Frozen Fours in 14 seasons. He’s also spent decades coaching youth hockey, many of those camps and clinics at Wakota arena.
“Who know what's going to happen, but it's certainly a neat thing for me and my family that they're considering us,” Woog said.
The rink, less than two miles from his home, has become somewhat of a second home to him.
“In the Housley days, we'd start at 8 in the morning and go to 10 at night, I’m telling you those little blades and wide feet they were pretty sore by the end of the day,” he said.
The idea came from Harry Rund who casually mentioned it to a friend then decided to put a campaign on Facebook to rename the Wakota arena. The campaign grew into a petition with nearly 1,200 names.
“When I was a little kid, I grew up watching Doug play hockey,” Rund said.
At first, it didn’t go anywhere. But at about the same time, a businessman had the same idea and told the mayor he'd pay for the new signage. The two campaigns joined forces, and over the summer it has picked up steam.
“I think there's some interest, the public interest is stronger,” Doug’s son Steve Woog said.