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Gophers introduce Dawn Plitzuweit as new women’s basketball coach

Plitzuweit brings 28 years of coaching experience to Minnesota and will replace former head coach and Hall of Fame player Lindsay Whalen.
Credit: KARE 11
Gophers introduce new women's basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers women's basketball team has found their replacement for former head coach and Hall of Fame player Lindsay Whalen.

On Saturday, University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Mark Coyle announced that West Virginia's Dawn Plitzuweit has been named as the school's 13th head women's basketball coach.

Plitzuweit brings 28 years of coaching experience to Minnesota — spending 16 as a head coach — leading schools at West Virginia, South Dakota, Northern Kentucky and Grand Valley State.

While serving as a head coach at other schools, Plitzuweit has been a proven winner.

The Gophers' new head coach has totaled 15 winning seasons, nine 20-win seasons and two 30-win campaigns. 

She has also led her teams to four straight NCAA tournaments, something Whalen was not able to do during her five years at Minnesota.

According to a press release from the university, Plitzuweit took South Dakota to the Sweet 16 in 2022 and won a Division II national championship at Grand Valley State in 2006.

The 2022-23 season was Plitzuweit's first at West Virginia, as she became the first coach in program history to lead the team to the NCAA Tournament in an initial season, the U of M's press release said. The Mountaineers lost in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament on Friday to Arizona 75-62.

"I am extremely excited," said Plitzuweit. "This is a homecoming of sorts, and Minnesota is a program that I am very familiar with from my previous time in the surrounding area and in the Big Ten. I am looking forward to getting back to the area and to meet the team, alumni and fans. I am also looking forward to reconnecting with local high school and club coaches. I can't wait to get to work."

The University and Plitzuweit's six-year agreement is pending the Board of Regents' approval and the completion of a background check.

Earlier this month, Coyle and Whalen announced she will step down from her position as head coach immediately. Whalen and the U of M reportedly agreed she will stay on as a "special assistant to Coyle through April of 2025."

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