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Minnesota Women’s Basketball: Gophers Hire Dawn Plitzuweit as Head Basketball Coach

Plitzuweit returns to her Midwest roots after one season at West Virginia

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 21 Women’s Texas at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After just over two weeks the Minnesota Gophers women’s basketball team has a new head coach. The U announced Saturday morning that Dawn Plitzuweit would be the new head coach of the Gophers. Plitzuweit just completed her first season as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers leading them to a 19-12 record and a #10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Plitzuweit became the first coach in program history (49 years) to lead the team to the NCAA Tournament in an initial season. The Mounaineers lost to #7 seed Arizona to end their season on Friday.

Plitzuweit grew up in the Midwest and has lots of coaching experience in the region. Prior to her single season at West Virginia she was the head coach at South Dakota from 2016-2022 leading the Coyotes to a 158-36 record and was 83-10 in the Summit League. Plitzuweit was named Summit League Coach of the Year three times and led the Coyotes to three regular-season titles, three conference tournament championships, four NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament in 2022. She recruited the State of Minnesota heavily bringing in some of the Coyotes best players from the state.

Prior to USD she was the head coach at Northern Kentucky for four seasons leading the Norse to a 71-54 record. She came to UNK after spending five seasons in the Big Ten as the associate head coach at Michigan under Kevin Borseth.

Plitzuweit’s first head coaching job was at Division II Grand Valley State University, where she was from 2002-2007. The Lakers were 117-39 during her five seasons, and in 2006, Plitzuweit led Grand Valley State to a 33-3 record and the NCAA Division II National Championship, which was the first in program history. Plitzuweit was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year after the season.

She is tightly linked to the Kevin Borseth coaching tree starting initially as a player for him at Michigan Tech. She then coached with Borseth for 11 seasons at three different schools, as the duo was at Michigan Tech (1995-97), Green Bay (1998-2002) and Michigan (2007-12). Plitzuweit was also an assistant coach at Wisconsin during the 1997-98 season. She is a West Bend, Wisconsin native.

She has experience in the Big Ten, she has experience in the Power 5 as a head coach. She has won every spot she has been. She had recruited the state of Minnesota. This on paper appears like a huge win for Mark Coyle.

According to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson Plitzuweit will get a six year contract. Her buyout from West Virginia will be in the $365 K range and her salary will be in line with some of the newer hires in the Big Ten as of late. For example Marissa Moseley is in her second year at Wisconsin and currently makes $650K a year.

Plitzuweit will be officially introduced at a 12:30 p.m. press conference on Monday. The press conference will take place on the women’s basketball practice court at Athletes Village. It will be carried live on Big Ten Network and on the Minnesota Gophers official YouTube channel.