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Introducing the Godmother of Minnesota Women's Sports, Linda Wells

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There is only one coach at Minnesota that has been inducted into 7 (SEVEN?!) Halls of Fame, and you probably have never heard her name.

Linda Wells in 1984.
Linda Wells in 1984.
U of M

At the University of Minnesota Linda Wells coached Softball (1974-1989), Women's Basketball (1973-77 ), and Volleyball (1974-81). She was most successful as a Softball coach leading the Gophers to 6 Big Ten titles.

The Missouri native played five collegiate sports (volleyball, basketball, softball, field hockey, and tennis) at Southeast Missouri State, and has since been inducted into 7 Halls of Fame either at institutions where she played or with organizations which she helped develop, such as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Wells came to the U of M as a graduate student in exercise physiology in 1971. That  same year she coached part time as the head of the Women's Basketball team. After the passage of Title IX she was hired as Minnesota's first full time women's coach.

Her best Volleyball team at the U of M was either  the 1978 squad that won an unofficial Big Ten title or the 1981 team that placed 7th in the AIAW National Championships.

From her "M" Club Hall of Fame Bio:

In 15 years, Wells led the Gophers to a 351-264-1 record. The team advanced to third place at the 1978 AIAW College World Series, and her teams won conference titles in 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1988. Wells was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1978, when her team went 31-25, earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and was ranked 11th nationally.

Sadly, Wells ended up leaving Dinkytown in 1989 for Arizona State. According to a Star Tribune article from the time, the main reason Wells left was because the Sun Devils offered her a full time assistant, a graduate student, and a student manager.