Maturi won’t renew softball coaches’ contracts

by Trevor Born

After almost two decades, the Gophers softball program is searching for a new coaching staff.

Athletics director Joel Maturi announced Wednesday that he will not renew the contracts of co-head coaches Lisa Bernstein and Julie Standering, which expire June 30, citing a need for new leadership for the struggling program. 

Bernstein just completed her 19th season as head coach, spending the last 12 seasons as co-head coach with Standering. The Gophers won a Big Ten tournament and made five NCAA Tournament appearances in those 19 seasons, but failed to win a regular season conference title and haven’t finished higher than fourth place since 1999. The team finished this season in last place at 2-17 in the conference, their fourth bottom-3 finish in six years. 

"At this time, I feel that new leadership is needed to achieve the level of success, in all areas, that we expect for Golden Gopher athletics," Maturi said in a release. 

Current pitching coach and former Gophers pitcher Piper Marten, who joined the staff in 2008, also will not return. Maturi said a nationwide coaching search will begin immediately.