Gopher Softball 2020

Hrothgar

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I don't think this team has as much loyalty to Jamie as the athletes for Mike White did. Plus, so many girls are midwestern ladies and that may stay just to be closer to home. Hopefully a new coach brings in better team unity and the girls look more excited to play. Remember all the lackluster playing of so many games and the girls looked more like factory workers then having fun with the sport. Maybe we will get a catcher that stays with the program. Did you see how Fiser grew tired of trying so hard only to allow dropped 3rd strikes or passed balls? Fiser deserves better.

The
I agree. It seemed strange how lackluster a Gophers team w/ so much talent could be at times, beg. in 2018, for example, v. New Mexico State & in 2020 they were a team from the 2019 WCWS, who seemed dead in the water in way too many games. V. Missouri & Kentucky, for instance. Allister was a catcher herself; she always had good defensive catchers. There must've been a reason catchers left under Trachsel. I wonder; did 2020 seniors decide to return for 2021 because they had an inkling of change upcoming?
 

Jaydee

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I know MN pays less than SEC or PAC, but does anyone really know what those numbers are for Softball coaches? Also, MN has big travel expenses because we just can’t play at home most of the season. That comes out of the general team fund and must put a big dent in coaches salaries.
 

MRJ

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Well, another coach in, another coach out.

I could have done without the phony "Minnesota is a place to chase your dreams" BS from Trachsel, including all her crap about "winning with special people" and saying how much she loved being here.

Clearly, it wasn't true.

Anyway, just showed her true colors.

Can we get a coach without an eye to bail every few years? That would be nice...

Ball is in your court Mr. Coyle...
 

Panthadad2

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I keep wishing for the next Carol Hutchins type career coach here that can place her/his permanent mark on the program and keep it great. Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Who are the hot ambitious coaches that have recruiting chops in the Upper Midwest?
 

Hrothgar

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https://www.startribune.com/gophers-softball-coach-jamie-trachsel-leaving-for-ole-miss/569911932/

No surprise here, given Coyle's disrespect to the softball team by refusing to let them have a level playing field with teams in the PAC (Stanford) and SEC (Ole Miss). Should be obvious why I name those two schools.

It's to be expected. Coyle has no intention of the U of MN ever being a national power in softball.
I know nothing about Coyle's intentions, but the U now as a woman president, who might have some say in how women's sports are viewed.
 


MRJ

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I keep wishing for the next Carol Hutchins type career coach here that can place her/his permanent mark on the program and keep it great. Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Who are the hot ambitious coaches that have recruiting chops in the Upper Midwest?

I mentioned this in the 2021 thread, but Sara G has expressed an interest in coming back in some capacity following the Olympics. In fact, she stated that it would be "a dream come true."

Other names being bandied about are Jessica Merchant, Darren Mueller and Katie Richardson, but that's all just speculation.

Bottom line is it's a very attractive job for obvious reasons and Coyle has done pretty well with his hires thus far.

Just have to have faith and let the process play out.
 

MplsGopher

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I wonder; did 2020 seniors decide to return for 2021 because they had an inkling of change upcoming?
No, it's because Coyle said they weren't allowed to have scholarships. Did you miss that?

Technically, what he said is that he would only allow the total scholarships on the team to stay at the regular NCAA max, even though the NCAA is allowed that to expand now --- but Coyle's decision basically amounts to the above. They're not going to steal from the incoming class, and they're not going to take them away from non-seniors that are coming back (actually can't, even if they wanted to, as scholarships are guaranteed now).
 

MplsGopher

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I know MN pays less than SEC or PAC, but does anyone really know what those numbers are for Softball coaches? Also, MN has big travel expenses because we just can’t play at home most of the season. That comes out of the general team fund and must put a big dent in coaches salaries.
That type of idea would only be true if there was some set ceiling that the softball team is allowed to spend per year, and the salary for the coaching staff was a function of that.

As far as I understand, the coaching staff salary is it's own, fixed thing, that is negotiated and fixed by a contract.

So if the rest of the expenses go up by $10k-20k in a year, then the "budget" for the softball team necessarily goes up by $10k-20k that year.
 

MplsGopher

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Well, another coach in, another coach out.

I could have done without the phony "Minnesota is a place to chase your dreams" BS from Trachsel, including all her crap about "winning with special people" and saying how much she loved being here.

Clearly, it wasn't true.

Anyway, just showed her true colors.

Can we get a coach without an eye to bail every few years? That would be nice...

Ball is in your court Mr. Coyle...
The volleyball program is one of the top in the nation, in the most difficult/powerful conference in the nation. And it pays coaches and provides the things the program needs (facilities, recruiting budgets, etc.) like it's one of the top in the nation.

I see no reason the softball team couldn't do the same, if Coyle cared to treat it with the same attitude.


And no, Minnesota actually isn't one of the top states for producing volleyball talent, before someone says that's the difference. It does have some very good talent, sure. But places like California, Texas, even Indiana, produce far more.
 



ClassOf98Gopher

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The volleyball program is one of the top in the nation, in the most difficult/powerful conference in the nation. And it pays coaches and provides the things the program needs (facilities, recruiting budgets, etc.) like it's one of the top in the nation.

I see no reason the softball team couldn't do the same, if Coyle cared to treat it with the same attitude.


And no, Minnesota actually isn't one of the top states for producing volleyball talent, before someone says that's the difference. It does have some very good talent, sure. But places like California, Texas, even Indiana, produce far more.

This is the key difference in your own words: “in the most difficult/powerful conference in the nation.”
 

MplsGopher

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This is the key difference in your own words: “in the most difficult/powerful conference in the nation.”
So it should be easier for our team to win the conference and get a regional or even super regional hosting site?
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I love softball, the best sport in America, even more than Volleyball, which I also watch as much as I can. But volleyball gets 25-30 packed, 5000 attendee games. There is a huge financial difference.

In addition, McCutchen can go down to Texas and tell Jenna Wenaas to come to Minnesota and play against the best volleyball teams in that country. And when we win the Big Ten, we will get the top or at worst second seed in the NCAA tournament, which the Big Ten almost always is entitled to nowadays.

Softball is harder. You can win the Big Ten and not even get a regional host seed... it has happened.
 

newtogopherland

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I agree. It seemed strange how lackluster a Gophers team w/ so much talent could be at times, beg. in 2018, for example, v. New Mexico State & in 2020 they were a team from the 2019 WCWS, who seemed dead in the water in way too many games. V. Missouri & Kentucky, for instance. Allister was a catcher herself; she always had good defensive catchers. There must've been a reason catchers left under Trachsel. I wonder; did 2020 seniors decide to return for 2021 because they had an inkling of change upcoming?
Remember ... these girls are the 1% of players good enough to make it to the D1 level so as you sit back and “judge” their lackluster play maybe it is because of the environment they are playing in. AGREE 100% Trachsel had no idea how to manage a game from behind the plate. There has to be a correlation why so many catchers have left the program ... 3, two of them starters, in her first two years coaching. And why has Jamie never used the catcher from Nevada? She played for a nationally ranked travel team in Southern California all through high school.
 



MRJ

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The volleyball program is one of the top in the nation, in the most difficult/powerful conference in the nation. And it pays coaches and provides the things the program needs (facilities, recruiting budgets, etc.) like it's one of the top in the nation.

I see no reason the softball team couldn't do the same, if Coyle cared to treat it with the same attitude.


And no, Minnesota actually isn't one of the top states for producing volleyball talent, before someone says that's the difference. It does have some very good talent, sure. But places like California, Texas, even Indiana, produce far more.

Trust me, Minnesota produces plenty of elite volleyball talent. Check out how Minnesota players do in both college and at the national team level. Minnesota is an extremely strong hotbed of volleyball talent anyway you slice it.

As to the rest of it, I don't know that much about finances at it relates to softball. I do know that Jane Sage is one of the best home field advantages in college softball.

After that, I don't really have any insight.
 

clcooley0

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The Strib says Trachsel's contract expires at the end of May and Coyle offered her a one year extension. I can only assume he wanted her out. I hope he has a great replacement waiting in the wings.
 

rugger14

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No, it's because Coyle said they weren't allowed to have scholarships. Did you miss that?

Technically, what he said is that he would only allow the total scholarships on the team to stay at the regular NCAA max, even though the NCAA is allowed that to expand now --- but Coyle's decision basically amounts to the above. They're not going to steal from the incoming class, and they're not going to take them away from non-seniors that are coming back (actually can't, even if they wanted to, as scholarships are guaranteed now).
You logic fails me. Maybe I just can't comprehend. Everyone except Krueger and Partain are coming back despite the fact that they aren't on Scholarship... Do you know that Partain has not announced that she will come back because of money?
 

Holy Man

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The Strib says Trachsel's contract expires at the end of May and Coyle offered her a one year extension. I can only assume he wanted her out. I hope he has a great replacement waiting in the wings.

Official announcement on Gophersports.com was about as clinical as it can get, with no quotes from Jamie. If she was only offered a one year extension, I have a little more sympathy for her, but ditching your team in the middle of a historic crisis is really bad form on the surface. She could have made some announcement about Ole Miss being her dream job, her gratitude for the opportunity, etc. Only crickets or so it seems. That it took almost 24 hours for the U to announce after it was known is telling as well.

The extension issue could very well be related to uncertain financial picture as well and not just a performance or perception issue.
 


Panthadad2

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Quote from a prominent player parent on the team's Facebook announcement "These girls deserve so much more".

That could mean more than one thing, but...
 

Hrothgar

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Remember ... these girls are the 1% of players good enough to make it to the D1 level so as you sit back and “judge” their lackluster play maybe it is because of the environment they are playing in. AGREE 100% Trachsel had no idea how to manage a game from behind the plate. There has to be a correlation why so many catchers have left the program ... 3, two of them starters, in her first two years coaching. And why has Jamie never used the catcher from Nevada? She played for a nationally ranked travel team in Southern California all through high school.
I'm not sitting back and judging their play, as you suggest; I'm describing it as I saw it first-hand. If by "the environment they are playing in" you mean the apparent lack of spark and imagination from the coach's box, I'd agree (if the key word is "apparent"; I have no inside knowledge). What remains clearest in my mind is the first Missouri game & the Kentucky game in Clearwater 2020. The opponents showed up ready to play, even in warmups. The Gophers showed no real drive at all nor did I see any attempts from the sidelines to get them going during the games. Aside from 2 good pitchers and 2 good hitters, they appeared either vastly overrated talent-wise or fully uninspired.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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“What remains clearest in my mind is the first Missouri game & the Kentucky game in Clearwater 2020.... Aside from 2 good pitchers and 2 good hitters, they appeared either vastly overrated talent-wise or fully uninspired.”

I know I harp on this expectations management thing but even NCAA college World Series and Women’s College World Series championship teams lose 8-15 games a year. Even really good NCAA softball teams, top 20 type teams like the Gophers, are going to lose some games here and there against other top 25 teams like Kentucky/Missouri. Those are good teams!

I just feel that if expectations are off then disappointment is more likely.

All that said, I can’t speak to the warm up thing because I wasn’t there. Maybe you are totally right. Just that by the very nature of this sport, it’s just not like basketball. After all, even the late 90s Yankees didn’t blow through seasons like the Jordan era Bulls did. It’s just a tough type of sport (Softball/Baseball) to win all the time... even if you are good.
 

MRJ

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Quote from a prominent player parent on the team's Facebook announcement "These girls deserve so much more".

That could mean more than one thing, but...

The only thing I can gather (due to the timing of said comment) is that it is directed at or about Trachsel. And I can't say that I blame said parent if that's the case.

This is a group of seniors that have done nothing but win since they got here and now they've been summarily dumped by two different coaches in a stretch of about four years. That crap gets old.

At least Allister stuck it out for four seven years. Trachsel jumped ship after a quick, cup-of-coffee of two years a full two days after raving about how special the returning players were, complete with the "M" emoji and everything.

That's the kind of garbage that leads to such comments.

And for the record, there a few comments from parents in that thread and they're not exactly complimentary of her.
 
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MNsoftballfan

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At least Allister stuck it out for four seven years. Trachsel jumped ship after a quick, cup-of-coffee of two years a full two days after raving about how special the returning players were, complete with the "M" emoji and everything.

That's the kind of garbage that leads to such comments.

I am not a huge fan of Jamie's, but I think that is a bit unfair. Her contract was up in May. She was offered a 1 (one!) year extension. Can you imagine Fleck's contract about to expire and we only offer him an additional year? She has the right to seek more than a one year deal for her own financial security. With her record at MN I am sure she expected a long term deal. A one year offer is pretty insulting and is tantamount to forcing her out the door.
 

Hrothgar

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I know I harp on this expectations management thing but even NCAA college World Series and Women’s College World Series championship teams lose 8-15 games a year. Even really good NCAA softball teams, top 20 type teams like the Gophers, are going to lose some games here and there against other top 25 teams like Kentucky/Missouri. Those are good teams!

I just feel that if expectations are off then disappointment is more likely.

All that said, I can’t speak to the warm up thing because I wasn’t there. Maybe you are totally right. Just that by the very nature of this sport, it’s just not like basketball. After all, even the late 90s Yankees didn’t blow through seasons like the Jordan era Bulls did. It’s just a tough type of sport (Softball/Baseball) to win all the time... even if you are good.
If you reread my post, you'll see I never said a word about winning/losing. I was talking about being competitive.
 

MRJ

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I am not a huge fan of Jamie's, but I think that is a bit unfair. Her contract was up in May. She was offered a 1 (one!) year extension. Can you imagine Fleck's contract about to expire and we only offer him an additional year? She has the right to seek more than a one year deal for her own financial security. With her record at MN I am sure she expected a long term deal. A one year offer is pretty insulting and is tantamount to forcing her out the door.

Then she needed to cool it on social media.

Instead, she made several posts raving about her returners for next year and how "special" everything was going to be. It comes off as completely dishonest, which it was.

If she really wanted to be here, she could have worked on a deal unless the U told her to take a flying leap (maybe they did, I don't know. And if that's the case, then obviously, do what you have to do).

But if she's moving simply because she felt disrespected about not getting a longer extension, she needed to make it clear what her situation was.

As it stands, a few of the parents are apparently pretty steamed, which says plenty imo.
 

MNsoftballfan

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Then she needed to cool it on social media.

Instead, she made several posts raving about her returners for next year and how "special" everything was going to be. It comes off as completely dishonest, which it was.

If she really wanted to be here, she could have worked on a deal unless the U told her to take a flying leap (maybe they did, I don't know. And if that's the case, then obviously, do what you have to do).

But if she's moving simply because she felt disrespected about not getting a longer extension, she needed to make it clear what her situation was.

As it stands, a few of the parents are apparently pretty steamed, which says plenty imo.

Like I said, I'm not a huge fan. But I think Coyle needs to be asked why he offered the most successful softball coach in program history a mere one year extension on her expiring contract.
 

Holy Man

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Like I said, I'm not a huge fan. But I think Coyle needs to be asked why he offered the most successful softball coach in program history a mere one year extension on her expiring contract.

Fair question. Was the offer recent and taking into consideration the possible crashing of finances, or was it a while back and designed to get her to quit? Either way, her departure was not gracious or timed well. She could have left a polite message to the U community and moved on. This smells like a major in flames burning bridge. That can't be good for her.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Trachsel seemed like a really good fit and the on field results were really good although primarily with Alister's players. The off the field results didn't seem to go as well and there seemed to be a lot of tension. This isn't a great time for it and you wonder how it will affect the roster but it may be best for the long term that a new coach will be coming in.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Fair question. Was the offer recent and taking into consideration the possible crashing of finances, or was it a while back and designed to get her to quit? Either way, her departure was not gracious or timed well. She could have left a polite message to the U community and moved on. This smells like a major in flames burning bridge. That can't be good for her.

These are all really valuable points and I honestly have learned SO MUCH today around a topic (Gopher softball) that I am so passionate about. This outlet is good.

It is unclear to me if the softball program will improve or regress from this. It is unclear to me exactly why it happened. What is clear to me is that Jamie, despite any and all faults, wound up at a not bad job. The Ole Miss job is not a terrible one for her to complain about... I mean it is not Florida or Texas or Oklahoma, or UCLA, but it ain’t bad.

And also what is clear enough to me is so long as Fiser returns next year, and there are not any major transfers, we should be alright and competing for a Big Ten championship no matter who the next coach is. Then after that.. of course... more unclarity. All of that future will be on the shoulders of our next coach. I just hope she/he is a good one for our program.
 

#2Gopher

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From the way outside looking in, I just didn't have a good feeling about Trachsel. This goes back to two years ago with some behind the scenes news that we all received. Players not being completely happy etc. Part of it though could have been the player's solid relationship with the previous coach and sometimes change is hard.

I hope that Coyles has a plan of sort. Perhaps the one year deal was to get her out. I know some on this board don't like Coyles. We need to trust that he'll find a good coach to come here. I believe he will.
 




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