Mike Ditka spent Thursday evening back in the city where he ran Saints training camp for 3 summers.
The current television analyst for ESPN was the featured speaker at The Gateway Area Council, Boys Scouts of America, 10th Annual Golden Eagle Dinner "Night of Champions". The event was held at The Waterfront Cargill Room.
Head coach of the Saints from 1997-1999, Ditka reflected back to those hot summer days working in La Crosse. "We were down here around all of this area when I was coaching with the Saints, which was a very short time. But we trained up here and it was great. The people in Wisconsin were absolutely phenomenal to us and the school (UW-La Crosse) was terrific, they went out of their way to make this a pleasant experience as it could've been, they were happy to have us."
In his 3 seasons as head coach in New Orleans, Ditka finished with a combined record of 15-33. "You know it didn't work out, but the Saints went on to be pretty good too."
The former coach also spoke about the NFC North Division, including the recent move the Vikings made trading wide receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle. "Minnesota must have thought they could get by without Harvin or they wouldn't have done what they did. So I think that's going to be a good division - Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago is going to be pretty interesting."
The Golden Eagle Dinner directly supports the Gateway Area Council’s mission to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Gateway Area Council currently serves approximately four thousand youth throughout nine counties in Wisconsin and Minnesota.