Striegler joins women’s basketball coaching staff

Emily Polglaze

The women’s basketball staff has expanded by adding a former head coach. 
 
Gophers head coach Marlene Stollings announced the addition of Gail Striegler as assistant coach on June 8. The Gophers had an open spot on their coaching staff after former assistant Fred Chmiel left to be an assistant coach at South Carolina.
 
“It’s fantastic to have an opportunity to work with Coach Stollings and what she’s started here,” Striegler said. “There’s a lot of excitement going around the program.” 
Striegler comes to Minnesota after spending seven years as the head coach at Long Island University Brooklyn. 
 
Streigler was LIU-Brooklyn’s winningest head coach, compiling a 96-115 overall record in seven seasons before being fired on March 20 following a 9-21 record during the 2014-15 season.
 
In addition to her time at LIU-Brooklyn, Striegler previously served as head coach at the University of Central Florida, where she lead her team to three straight conference championships from 2003-05. The Knights were ranked in the national top-20 in scoring three times under Striegler, and during her time with the program, they recorded a 106-128 overall record.
 
Stollings said Striegler’s history as a head coach will make her even more capable and successful as a Minnesota assistant. 
 
“She has over 200 wins as a head coach,” Stollings said. “And through that, she’s going to bring unique insight to our program, and she certainly shares the dreams and goals that we have for the program.”
 
Striegler has been coaching for 25 years, but the Big Ten atmosphere will be new to her. 
 
“It’s a greater opportunity to grow and expand as a coach,” Streigler said. “Any time you work with other great coaches and go up against that kind of competition, you’re only going to make yourself better every day.”
 
Practice time is limited in the summer, but the coaching staff will still work to develop relationships with their athletes. Striegler says she sees it as an open door to get to know the players and coaching staff better. 
 
“To me, everything in this business goes back to relationships,” Striegler said. “You have to really get to know the players, and for them to work hard, they have to be able to get to know you the same way. That’s part of the fun of it.”
 
Striegler will be just one of a number of new faces on the women’s basketball team this upcoming season as the team returns with six players who recorded minutes for Minnesota last year.
 
The whole team will need to work to build relationships with the amount of roster turnover, and the Gophers will be counting on Striegler to help with that transition.
 
“Her reputation speaks for itself,” Gophers associate head coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins said. “When you put us all together, our weaknesses are countered with our strengths.”