Sports Brief

Brian Deutsch

After a three-year hiatus, former Minnesota women’s hockey forward Natalie Darwitz will once again be on the Gophers bench this season, albeit in a different role.

The two-time Olympian was named an assistant coach last weekend by head coach Brad Frost.

Darwitz played 99 games and won two national championships with Minnesota from 2002-2005 before leaving a year early for the Olympics and taking the school career points record (246) with her.

After the 2006 Olympics, Darwitz was named an assistant coach under her father, Scott Darwitz, for the Eagan High School girls’ program, which reached the state championships last year.

“I am excited and honored to return to my alma mater as a coach and to start this new chapter in my life,” Darwitz said to Gophersports.com. “I have great passion for the game of hockey and look forward to working alongside Brad, as he taught me so much as a player. I share his goal of preserving the rich tradition of Gopher hockey and striving to bring additional championships to the U of M.

“I am fortunate and thankful that the University of Minnesota and USA Hockey are allowing me to grow in the sport both as a player and now as a coach, she said.”