The Gophers officially introduced Dawn Plitzuweit as the new women’s basketball coach on Monday at a news conference at the team’s Athletes Village practice facility.
“Today’s not about me, today’s about Minnesota women’s basketball,” Plitzuweit said after being welcomed to the podium by athletic director Mark Coyle.
“Once we learn how to compete, that means we’re going to have a chance to be at a level where we’re doing some special things,” she added. “We have an opportunity to grow and compete in one of the best conferences in the nation right now. … We’re excited about the challenges.”
Plitzuweit arrives in Dinkytown after spending one year at West Virginia where she finished 19-12 this season, including a loss in the NCAA tournament first round. Prior to taking over the Mountaineers, she spent 10 seasons leading programs at South Dakota (2016-22) and Northern Kentucky (2012-16).
The Coyotes reached three straight NCAA tournaments under Plitzuweit, including the Sweet 16 last year. The West Bend, Wis., native started her head coaching career at Grand Valley State (Mich.) where she won the 2006 Division II national championship.
Plitzuweit replaced Lindsay Whalen, who resigned earlier this month after finishing 71-76 in five seasons as Gophers coach, including an 11-19 record this year.
“Thank you to Coach Whalen and her staff for what they’ve done for Gophers women’s basketball,” Plitzuweit said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lindsay as a player, as a coach, and most importantly as a person. Lindsay’s one of our own. I look forward to honoring her, and all our alumni and the coaches who have come before us who laid the foundation for us to build.”
Plitzuweit added: “Our Gophers women’s basketball program over time has celebrated some incredible players, some incredible teams and has had some incredible runs. Our program has great energy about it. And we can’t wait to build upon that.”
She recruited Minnesota heavily when she was coaching at South Dakota.
“Our program [at Minnesota] is fortunate to have a tremendous recruiting base right here in our state and in our region,” she said. “Personally, I’ve been blessed to recruit and coach in this area for many of my years as a college coach. And I’m really excited to connect and reconnect with a lot of our coaches in this area.”
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