New head coach, but the Gophers still have big goals

Jamie Trachsel is in her first year as head coach after the Gophers went 56-5 in 2017.

St. Cloud State alumna Jamie Trachsel was named head coach of the University of Minnesota softball team on July 24, 2017.

Courtesy of Gopher Sports

St. Cloud State alumna Jamie Trachsel was named head coach of the University of Minnesota softball team on July 24, 2017.

by Drew Cove

Job applications can involve a long, arduous process, with potential employees waiting months to hear back.

While that may be the case for some, it doesn’t describe new Minnesota head coach Jamie Trachsel’s path to the Gophers.

“It happened pretty fast,” Trachsel said. “[Former head coach] Jess Allister left and I had a phone call the next day.”

Then, in a span of just four days, Trachsel came to Minnesota’s campus and was hired as the next coach. Trachsel went from preparing to start her second year at Iowa State at the beginning of the week, to packing her bags, to being head coach the Big Ten champion Gophers.

A quick process was the result of something that wasn’t initially planned for the Gophers or Trachsel. 

Allister was head coach at Minnesota from 2011-2017. She left the position in July to take the job at her alma mater, Stanford University. At the time, former players expressed shock and the department moved into overdrive to hire a new coach.

Minnesota had a 56-5 season, the best in program history. Trachsel said she acknowledged the strengths and successes of the team last season, but feels she has something to bring to the table.

“I love defense and that’s my area of expertise,” Trachsel said. “I think I’ve maybe added some excitement to that side of the ball in this program, especially because it’s such a strong hitting program and pitching program.”

While Trachsel said she adds a defensive element to an already championship-caliber team, she brings other intangibles as well.

Players described her as enthusiastic, intense and encouraging. They said that not much is essentially different between Trachsel and their former coach.

“She loves seeing us succeed,” catcher Kendyl Lindaman said. “She’s always telling you ‘good job’ and [is] just always there for you, always backing you up.”

Trachsel is a Duluth, Minnesota native and an alumna of St. Cloud State. She spent six years as the co-head coach for North Dakota State. Her stop at Minnesota is with a team that had accomplished program-highs last season.

“She’s really passionate,” infielder Sydney Dwyer said. “It’s fun to see her fire on the side that we really haven’t seen in previous years. That aspect of her has been fun.”

Her team describes her as passionate and intense, and Trachsel describes herself the same way. Trachsel said she most enjoys working with the girls and making them better people and softball players.

The Gophers have a chance to repeat past success and go further than before with the help of returning players.

“We’ll do whatever it is,” Trachsel said. “[We’re] trying to win and win as many championships as we can, and best prepare our kids to play our best when it matters the most.”