Dawn Plitzuweit to become 13th Gophers WBB head coach

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Rumors began swirling Friday night, but the Gophers made it official Saturday naming Dawn Plitzuweit as their new women’s basketball head coach. The 50-year-old Wisconsin native had a four-year playing career at Michigan Tech (1990-95) before beginning her coaching journey at her alma mater as an assistant coach for three years. She has 12+ years of assistant coaching experience and 15+ years as a head coach. She has compiled a 365–140 (.723) overall record. She began her coaching career under the tree of Kevin Borseth at Michigan Tech who she would follow to Green Bay and Michigan as an assistant. She now becomes the 13th head coach in Gophers women’s basketball history.

Who is Dawn Plitzuweit?:

Full coaching journey:

  • 1995–1998 Michigan Tech (assistant)
  • 1998–2002 Green Bay (assistant)
  • 2002–2007 (DII) Grand Valley State (HC)
  • 2007–2012 Michigan (assistant)
  • 2012–2016 Northern Kentucky (HC)
  • 2016–2022 South Dakota (HC)
  • 2022–2023 West Virginia (HC)

In her first head coaching run at DII Grand Valley State, Plitzuweit reached the NCAA Division II Tournament four of the five years and won the Division II title in 2006. When she got her first head coaching opportunity at the DI level, she compiled a 71–54 (.568) record through four seasons. When she accepted the job at South Dakota, she quickly turned the Coyotes into one of the best Mid-Major programs in the country. With a 158–35 (.819) across six seasons, she ended her run reaching the Sweet 16 in 2022, led by MN-native Hannah Sjerven. Lastly, she made the jump up to the power five level and she led West Virginia to the NCAA Tournament and a 19-12 record in her lone season this year.

According to Darren Wolfson, It will be a 6-year contract, which is “a significant investment from her previous contract that is in line with some of the new coaches that have arrived in the Big Ten in the last year-plus. Her West Virginia buyout, depending on official resignation date, said to be in $365K range.”

What is Next?:

With talented freshmen Mara Braun, Mallory Heyer and Nia Holloway all announcing their return to the program for next season, Plitzuweit will have a fun young core to build around right away. It will likely be a top priority to retain Amaya Battle, Rose Michaeux and Katie Borowicz, who have all not yet publicly stated their plans for next season.

With 15+ years of head coach experience, Dawn Plitzuweit has never had a losing season, she won a DII National Championship and has midwest ties. She checks all of the boxes for an ideal candidate and will have a great chance of getting the Gophers program back to the NCAA Tournament.

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