‘A dream opportunity’: Plitzuweit takes over at Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (KELO) — College basketball coach, Dawn Plitzuweit, had plenty of success during her time in Vermillion, but now, for the second time in as many years, the Wisconsin native is on the move.

Dawn Plitzuweit left USD after six seasons and a Sweet 16 appearance. She was named the new head coach for the West Virginia team in April of 2022, though she’d miss her time in Vermillion.

“We are very, very thankful to be here today. It was also a very difficult challenge to say goodbye to our family at the University of South Dakota,” Plitzuweit said in 2022.

Plitzuweit had success with the Mountaineers, bringing them back to the NCAA Tournament. But late in the season, another opportunity came about, back in the midwest.

“When we announced the transition with our program, we talked about how this is an attractive job, because of our student athletes that we have in place. We felt we could go out and get a head coach that has done it at many different levels,” University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle said.

That’s when the University of Minnesota reached out to Plitzuweit, offering her a six year contract to be the new women’s basketball coach.

“I can’t control the timing of this, this is really challenging, but this is home. This is home for them (players) and we’re going to make it a great family atmosphere for them,” Plitzuweit said. “It’s home for me. This is opportunity as I’ve had a chance to coach in the Big Ten before, but never as a head coach. This is a dream opportunity and one that I’m excited about.”

Plitzuweit named head coach at Introductory Press Conference – Monday, March 20

“We felt it was important to find a coach that has won at a high level. Obviously, we saw what she did at South Dakota when she took them to the Sweet 16,” Coyle said.

The Golden Gophers haven’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2018, though coach Plitzuweit is keeping her focus on the process as opposed to the results.

“We let the process take care of the results. What have I noticed out of our young ladies? They’re competitive, they’re hungry and they were in the gym today,” Plitzuweit said. “They want to do some special things and with that being the case, good things can happen for us.”

Plitzuweit had her first team workout on Tuesday as she begins her new career with the Golden Gophers.