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Minnesota Women’s Basketball: Coaching Search Updates

Where you can watch The Gophers potential coaches in the postseason

Connecticut v Marquette Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It’s now been nearly two weeks since Lindsay Whalen stepped down from coaching the Gophers women’s basketball program. A week ago we gave you a potential list of candidates for the job. Now, we can maybe potentially whittle down that list with the official publication of the Minnesota Women’s Head Coach job listing.

A look at some of the requirements in the listing shows that Mark Coyle is looking for a veteran head coach. The job description states as requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Six seasons of head coaching experience at a Division I Institution or 14 season of assistant or associate coaching experience at a Division I institution.

The listing states that the following is preferred:

  • Master’s degree
  • Autonomous 5 (P5) coaching experience
  • Demonstrated success working with and recruiting within the AAU system.

So lets take a quick look at our list of candidates and see how many would fit the qualifications. We also will state if they are playing postseason basketball and where and when you might be able to get a look at the new Gopher coach with their current team.

Megan Duffy—YES.

Six season of head coaching experience with four years at the P5 level at Marquette. Has recruited Minnesota and dealt with AAU system. Duffy by some accounts has interviewed for the Minnesota job and has also interviewed for the Pitt job. According to a Pittsburgh report it was not clear if she would get a second interview for the Pitt job and whose decision that was. Duffy is also been named as a potential candidate for the Michigan State job that just opened up.

Marquette is a #9 seed in the NCAA tournament and plays #8 seed USF in the first round at 10:30 AM Friday on ESPN2. If they win, they are the likely sacrificial lamb for #1 overall South Carolina in the 2nd round on Sunday.

Tammi Reiss-No

Reiss only has four years of head coaching experience in the A-10, and only has 12 years of assistant experience at various stops. Rhode Island is in the WNIT as one of the top seeds and hosts Boston University at 5 PM Friday.

Dawn Plitzuweit-YES

Plitzuweit has been a head coach for seven seasons with one in the P5 this year with West Virginia. West Virginia is a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays #7 seed Arizona at 11 AM Friday on ESPN.

Lindy La Rocque-NO

La Rocque is only in her third season as the head coach of UNLV and has just six seasons of assistant experience. UNLV is a #11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays #6 seed Michigan at 2 PM Friday on ESPNU.

Kristen Gillespie-YES

She just finished her 6th season as the head coach of Illinois State and did spend some time as an assistant at NC State. Gillespie also has been rumored to have potentially already been interviewed by Mark Coyle for the job. Illinois State is in the WNIT and plays at Missouri at 7 PM Thursday.

Aaron Johnston-YES

Johnston has the experience—23 years as a head coach at South Dakota State but has never coaches anywhere else but SDSU. Is that a deal breaker for Mark Coyle? SDSU is a #9 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays #8 seed USC at 7 PM Friday on ESPNNEWS. If they win they would most likely get #1 seeded Virginia Tech on Sunday.

Carolyn Kieger-YES

Kieger has the experience both as a head coach and in the P5. She has completed four years at Penn State after five years at Marquette. But her team’s season ended with a second round loss in the Big Ten Tournament. Will that play a role?

Robin Fralick-NO

Fralick has only spend five seasons as a DI head coach all at Bowling Green. She also has head coach experience at a DII school, and that might be ok. While technically she does ot been what the U is asking for in the job profile, she supposedly is a candidate of interest and may be interviewed for the job according to KSTP.

Bowling Green is a top seed in the WNIT and hosts Liberty at 5 PM Thursday.

Carla Berube-NO

Berube is another candidate that may break the letter of the law. She has only bee a head coach at Princeton for four seasons, but has 17 years as a very successful D3 head coach prior to that. There have been rumors that she also has already interviewed for the job.

Princeton is a #10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays #7 seed NC State at 9 PM Friday on ESPN2.

Megan Griffith-YES

Griffith has the experience this being year seven behind the bench at Columbia, but does not have P5 experience even as an assistant. Columbia is in the WNIT and hosts Fairleigh Dickinson at 6 PM Friday.

Jennie Baranczyk-YES

Baranczyk is in her second year at Oklahoma after nine years as the head coach at Drake. She checks both boxes and recruited in Minnesota while at Drake. Oklahoma is a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament and plays #12 seed Portland at 8PM Saturday on ESPNU.

Jim Flanery-YES

Flanery has been at Creighton for 21 years so he checks both boxes, though there has been zero steam for him. Creighton is a #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will play #11 seed Mississippi State at 5 PM Friday on ESPNNEWS.

Karen Blair-YES

While never a head coach she has more than 14 years as an assistant including the last five at Maryland. The Terps are a #2 seed and they host #15 seed Holy Cross at 1:3p PM Friday on ESPNNEWS.

Fred Chmiel-YES

Chmiel has more than enough experience as an assistant coach and has spend the last eight seasons at South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the #1 overall seed and the big favorites to go back to back.. South Carolina plays #16 Norfolk State at 1 PM Friday on ESPN.

Erin Batth- YES

Baath has enough assistant experience and plenty of P5 time. She also reportedly is a candidate for the now open Michigan State job. Michigan is a #6 seed and plays #11 seed UNLV at 2 PM Friday on ESPNU.

Calamity McEntire- YES

McEntire has enough experience as an assistant and the P% experience as well. Her Illinois Squad lost Wednesday night in the First Four Game to Mississippi State 70-56 ending their season.

Two other names that didn’t seem likely but have been at least mentioned as candidates of interest by various media sources include Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier and in what would seem to be a significant coup, Utah head coach Lynne Roberts

Fortier has been the head coach at Gonzaga since 2014 and has won 8 WCC titles in nine seasons turning the Zags women’s program into a near clone of the men’s program. Gonzaga is a #9 seed in the NCAA tournament sand they play #8 seed Ole Miss at 9 PM Friday on ESPNU.

Roberts has been the head coach at Utah since 2015 and just won the program’s first Pac-12 title this season with help from a pair of Minnesota recruits in Gianna Kneepkens from Duluth and Jenna Johnson from Wayzata. Utah is a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and they host #15 Gardner-Webb at 6:30 Friday on ESPNU.

With luck Minnesota will have a new head coach by the time the Final Four is near, or at its end if the candidate Mark Coyle really wants is coaching in it.