“Saint John’s is deeply grateful to Coborn’s and the Coborn family for their generous gift in support of Haws Field,” said Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB, president of Saint John’s University. “The Coborns are one of Central Minnesota’s most philanthropic and community-minded families, with deep roots at Saint John’s. This gift follows a long tradition of generosity to Saint John’s from Coborn’s and the Coborn family, including the Coborn Scholarship program at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.”
Construction on Haws Field will begin in spring 2012, and it will be ready for play by the fall 2013 soccer season. With a total project cost of $600,000, the gift from Coborn’s will be used as a challenge to attract the additional $200,000 needed from alumni, parents and friends.
“Coborn’s is delighted to be in a position to continue its support of Johnnie athletics and the Johnnie soccer program with this gift in honor of Pat Haws,” said Chris Coborn, president and CEO of Coborn’s Inc. and a 1981 graduate of Saint John’s and former member of the University’s Board of Regents. “Coach Haws was an outstanding coach and mentor to generations of Johnnie soccer teams. His commitment to athletics, sportsmanship and Benedictine values on and off the soccer pitch have influenced his players far beyond the playing field.”
Key features of the new Haws Field will include a natural grass playing surface (sand-peat topsoil blend) and permanent team dugouts.
“I’m deeply moved by and grateful to Coborn’s and the Coborn family for this honor,” said Pat Haws. “I never considered nor expected such recognition. In 1973, during my final conversation with my father, Terry Haws, SJU head wrestling coach, he advised me to get into college coaching as soon as I could. In the years since, I always hoped I was doing well enough to make him proud. This honor confirms for me that I succeeded. I can’t express how much it means to my family and me.”
Haws retired as head soccer coach in the summer of 2010, following 37 years with the SJU athletic department. The winningest coach in Minnesota college men’s soccer history, Haws guided the Johnnies to a 341-140-50 (.689) record and a 218-77-31 (.716) MIAC record with seven regular-season conference titles and one MIAC playoff championship to his credit. He entered the 2009 season 15th among active coaches and 19th all-time in NCAA Division III in career victories.
Haws was named the MIAC Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1989 and the NCAA Division III Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1986. In 2005, he became the first soccer coach in MIAC history to win more than 300 matches. His teams finished first or second in the MIAC 15 times, and in the 1980s, SJU ranked seventh among Division III teams with a .772 winning percentage.
A 1972 graduate of Saint John’s, Haws was hired in 1973 to start the swimming and diving program, which he coached for 25 years until 1998. In 1978, Haws took over the Johnnie soccer program for 32 seasons. Along the way, Haws also coached golf and tennis.
Coborn’s, Inc. owns and operates 39 Coborn’s and Cash Wise Foods grocery stores in the upper Midwest. It was lauded as Minnesota’s Family Business of the Year for Community Service and Philanthropy in 2010, and in 2011, Grocery Headquarters magazine awarded its prestigious Independent Retailer of the Year award to Coborn’s.
The company annually donates more than 2 million dollars and thousands of volunteer hours toward making a positive difference in the community.