Dawn Plitzuweit becomes the new Minnesota women’s basketball coach and agrees to a six-year term to lead the Golden Gophers, the program announced Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:
The Gophers have targeted her as their frontrunner in recent days after former Minnesota coach and program legend Lindsay Whalen resigned on March 2.
The move shows Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle’s commitment to positioning the Gophers to advance into the Big Ten before USC and UCLA join the August 2024 conference.
Plitzuweit, a Wisconsin native, was named West Virginia’s head coach last April after a highly successful six-year streak in South Dakota, where she led the Coyotes to three NCAA tournament appearances.
It will be presented at a press conference on Monday.
The Gophers went 11-19 under Whalen last season and 4-14 in Big Ten play despite recruiting the best class in program history this year. Their season ended in a 72-67 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament. Whalen coached the Gophers from 2018 to 2023 and had an overall record of 71-76 (32-58 in conference play) over five seasons.
During Plitzuweit’s final season at Vermillion, South Dakota advanced into the Sweet 16 and earned its first NCAA wins in program history. Plitzuweit also had stints as head coaches at Northern Kentucky (2012-16) and Grand Valley State (2002-07), where she won the 2006 Division II national title. She also spent 11 seasons as an assistant under Kevin Borseth at Michigan Tech, Green Bay and Michigan.
What you say
Plitzuweit called it “an enormous honor” to be named coach in Minnesota.
“This is a kind of homecoming,” Plitzuweit said in a statement. “And Minnesota is a program that I’m very familiar with from my early days in the area and in the Big Ten. I look forward to coming back to the area and meeting the team, alumni and fans. I also look forward to reconnecting with local high school and club coaches. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Coyle called Plitzuweit a “process-oriented coach” who has led successful teams at every stage of her career.
“[Plitzufar]has consistently produced teams competing for championships,” Coyle said in a statement. “Dawn has Big Ten coaching experience and knows how competitive and strong the conference is. I know she is looking forward to returning to the area and building her program.”
(Photo: Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)