USD’s Dawn Plitzuweit named to Coach of the Year watch list

KELOLAND Sports Basketball Classic

VERMILLION, S.D. — South Dakota women’s basketball head coach Dawn Plitzuweit was one of 15 coaches named to the Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Women’s Coach of the Year late-season watch list announced Wednesday.

Plitzuweit’s Coyotes are off to a 24-2 start to the season and have climbed to program-highs of No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Her team has been in the top-25 for one of the major polls for 17 weeks in the last two seasons combined.

The two-time Summit League Coach of the Year, Plitzuweit became the fastest Summit League coach to 100 wins by reaching the mark in 124 games. She’s the only coach in South Dakota history with four-straight 20-win seasons. ­She boasts the best winning percentage (.813) in program history and the second-most wins. Plitzuweit’s resume includes an NCAA Tournament appearance and a regular season Summit title with the Coyotes. She’s one victory away from clinching a share of her second Summit regular season title.

Plitzuweit is one of two mid-major coaches on the list, joined by Gonzaga’s Lisa Fortier.

The list will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists on March 4 and four finalists on March 19, leading up to a winner being named on April 4.

Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Women’s Coach of the Year Watch List

Adi Barnes, Arizona (Pac-12)

Cori Close, UCLA (Pac-12)

Dawn Plitzuweit, South Dakota (Summit League)

Dawn Staley, South Carolina (SEC)

Doug Bruno, DePaul (Big East)

Geno Auriemma, UConn (American)

Jeff Walz, Louisville (ACC)

Joe McKeown, Northwestern (Big Ten)

Kelly Graves, Oregon (Pac-12)

Kim Mulkey, Baylor (Big 12)

Lisa Bluder, Iowa (Big Ten)

Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga (WCC)

Scott Rueck, Oregon State (Pac-12)

Tara Vanderveer, Stanford (Pac-12)

Wes Moore, North Carolina State (ACC)

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