NewsAcademics, Faculty

WCCO-TV’S Mike Max to Join UNW as Adjunct Faculty

Former Gopher Quarterback Tanner Morgan to Teach Units in Sports Ethics

By Jennifer Clemens on Wednesday, March 13, 2024

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 13, 2024 – The University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) has announced the addition of Mike Max, Sports Director at WCCO-TV, as an adjunct instructor for the Spring 2024 semester. Max, who has been a mainstay on the Minnesota sports scene for nearly four decades, will teach Sports Leadership in the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Management, and Physical Education.

In addition to Max joining the team at UNW, former University of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan will be appearing in UNW’s Sports Ethics class this Spring to instruct multiple units on what it means to be a Christian athlete in today’s world.

Max feels like he has been groomed for this opportunity. “I’ve played for and interviewed so many types of coaches and players over the years. You learn how leadership can affect the team dynamics in both a positive and negative manner.” Max wants to challenge UNW students to create their own definition of what makes a great sports leader. He plans to bring in guest speakers and share highlights from some of the over 10,000 interviews he’s done in his career. “You can be a leader in many different ways,” said Max. “I want this course to help students discover what type of leader they want to be.”

The Sports Leadership course at UNW is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop moral and ethical values and philosophical skills through the exploration of sports management issues and organizational behavior.

The course’s initial offering, in the Spring of 2022, was taught by Ryan Saunders, former Timberwolves head coach and current assistant coach for the defending NBA Champion Denver Nuggets. The course is designed to be taught with a local professional coach or front office executive in mind, given that individual’s unique perspective into applicable topics in the industry. Max certainly fits that bill, as well as the mission of UNW to equip students to grow intellectually and spiritually to serve effectively in their professions and give God-honoring leadership in the home, church, and community.

Brad Ruiter, UNW Department Chair for Kinesiology, Sports Management, and Physical Education who has worked extensively in the local sports industry with the Twins, Timberwolves, and Gophers, made the connections between Max, Morgan, and the university.

“As we continue to build and grow the sports management program at UNW, I feel it is really important to have students connect and network with those in the industry who are known and respected in their field,” said Ruiter. “Bringing in Mike with his years of experience in the field and having Tanner, someone very close in age to our students, is another way to elevate our program and prepare our students in the best way possible for a career in sports management.”


University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational, Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and education. Northwestern offers more than 65 areas of study, including seven master’s degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 29 Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest with a total listenership of more than 2 million listeners. Visit unwsp.edu for more information.