Gopher Softball 2020

rugger14

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Like I said, I'm not a huge fan. But I think Coyle needs to be asked why he offered the most successful softball coach in program history a mere one year extension on her expiring contract.
I think it is clear that Coyle is not a big Trachsel fan.
 

Panthadad2

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From this post, it sounds like Trachsel got the Ole Miss offer, tried to leverage that into a better deal, and got snuffed by Coyle.

On to the next coach. At least it's April.

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ClassOf98Gopher

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From this post, it sounds like Trachsel got the Ole Miss offer, tried to leverage that into a better deal, and got snuffed by Coyle.

On to the next coach. At least it's April.

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Wow! Now that is some great info! Now we know!

I honestly figured Trachsel was less the Ole Miss type than the Gopher type. Still, Coyle may have had his reasons as well. I honestly don’t know what side is right between Coyle and Trachsel, but I assume that a slight majority of the fanatics on this board (I use that word in the positive sense) take Coyle’s side.
 

MRJ

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Like I said, I'm not a huge fan. But I think Coyle needs to be asked why he offered the most successful softball coach in program history a mere one year extension on her expiring contract.
That's certainly fair and Coyle should absolutely discuss how this unfolded.

With that said, the way Trachsel's family and friends are framing it online, you would've thought Coyle held a gun to her head and forced her to take the Ole Miss job, which on its face is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

In fact, they claim she's "heart-broken."

Yeah, sure.

After all, she was so committed to her "dream job" that she found the time to apply and interview for another P5 job while simultaneously blowing smoke up her players' and the fanbase's butts on social media.

Yep, all that practically screams"dream job" and she's actually the victim here.

Give me a break.

Just admit it was about money and that was more important than the team and the program. I could at least understand that. And at least it would be fully honest.

Instead, she's "heartbroken" while heading to the SEC.

Well, I'm sure she'll somehow recover from this horrid indignity she's suffered.

In the meantime, she's left a bunch of parents (and players) who apparently feel they've been lied to.

Fantastic.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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That's certainly fair and Coyle should absolutely discuss how this unfolded.

With that said, the way Trachsel's family and friends are framing it online, you would've thought Coyle held a gun to her head and forced her to take the Ole Miss job, which on its face is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

In fact, they claim she's "heart-broken."

Yeah, sure.

After all, she was so committed to her "dream job" that she found the time to apply and interview for another P5 job while simultaneously blowing smoke up her players' and the fanbase's butts on social media.

Yep, all that practically screams"dream job" and she's actually the victim here.

Give me a break.

Just admit it was about money and that was more important than the team and the program. I could at least understand that. And at least it would be fully honest.

Instead, she's "heartbroken" while heading to the SEC.

Well, I'm sure she'll somehow recover from this horrid indignity she's suffered.

In the meantime, she's left a bunch of parents (and players) who apparently feel they've been lied to.

Fantastic.
Isn’t that how everybody does it? They get an offer from another employer and then check in with their boss to see if that potential employer’s offer can be matched (or if lucky, beaten) by you current employer. I kinda thought that was how everyone did it in the work world. Lesson of workplace life to all the young people out there: we are all free agents.
 

MRJ

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Isn’t that how everybody does it? They get an offer from another employer and then check in with their boss to see if that potential employer’s offer can be matched (or if lucky, beaten) by you current employer. I kinda thought that was how everyone did it in the work world. Lesson of workplace life to all the young people out there: we are all free agents.
Sure, if you're being honest.

Telling everybody how it's your "dream job" and how "special" everything is about Minnesota, your program and your players while actively seeking another job behind the scenes isn't exactly honest however.

In fact, it comes off as a bit hypocritical and two-faced.

Maybe poor Jamie is the real victim here.

Somehow, I doubt it.
 
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Hrothgar

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Wow! Now that is some great info! Now we know!

I honestly figured Trachsel was less the Ole Miss type than the Gopher type. Still, Coyle may have had his reasons as well. I honestly don’t know what side is right between Coyle and Trachsel, but I assume that a slight majority of the fanatics on this board (I use that word in the positive sense) take Coyle’s side.
"From this post, it sounds like Trachsel got the Ole Miss offer, tried to leverage that into a better deal, and got snuffed by Coyle." Panthadad2.

If this and the previous post by 98gopher are accurate, I can imagine where both sides were coming from. 1) Coyle. The U, like most universities, is having serious financial considerations w/ the Corona shutdown, and the AD has debt service to the Athletes Village project plus some declining attendance in football & basketball. Coyle surely feels that pressure, and then the softball coach comes in & bargains for a raise. Maybe he honestly told her something like, "I like what you're doing, but I don't have the money Mississippi is offering." Maybe he doesn't. 2) Trachsel. If MN truly was "her dream job," she could've swallowed her pride a bit, hung on to the job, and made the dream job into a life mission. Win big in coming seasons, she'd be a real name in her home state, and the money would've come. Regardless of what posters here thought of her coaching, she had the job, it was hers, and her W/L record wasn't shabby. She could've created something big. She chose another path. I wouldn't have, but she's a different generation. My speculation. Any sense in it?
 

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I think if Allister had taken the Gophers to the WCWS in the second year of her three year initial contract, she would have received a multi year contract extension the day after the season ended. UNTHINKABLE that she would have coached her final year without an extension. Coyle must have wanted Jamie gone. She got the message and did would any reasonable person would do. And for all I know, Coyle made the correct call. But I don't think too many of us, were we in the same shoes, would turn down a 4-5 year contract (don't know the details, just a guess) and accept a one year. No matter how much we loved the school. And I also don't know how true it is that she actively sought the Ole Miss job. Given that coach Katie spent 3 years as an Ole Miss assistant, isn't it possible that the Ole Miss athletic director pursued our coaches?

With that said, I am over it. Let's hire a great coach.
 

Hrothgar

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I think if Allister had taken the Gophers to the WCWS in the second year of her three year initial contract, she would have received a multi year contract extension the day after the season ended. UNTHINKABLE that she would have coached her final year without an extension. Coyle must have wanted Jamie gone. She got the message and did would any reasonable person would do. And for all I know, Coyle made the correct call. But I don't think too many of us, were we in the same shoes, would turn down a 4-5 year contract (don't know the details, just a guess) and accept a one year. No matter how much we loved the school. And I also don't know how true it is that she actively sought the Ole Miss job. Given that coach Katie spent 3 years as an Ole Miss assistant, isn't it possible that the Ole Miss athletic director pursued our coaches?

With that said, I am over it. Let's hire a great coach.
Allister has all the off-the-diamond social skills and personal visibility that made her a hit in the public eye and, I've heard, with recruits' families, too. Trachsel was never visible to the public, it seemed. She never let the fans know who she was. Even after 3 years of watching her with her teams on the field I wouldn't recognize her in person if we met on the street. On my way to the U, I sometimes walked by Cowles stadium from parking. If the softball team was practicing, Allister, her coaches, or the players would say a casual hello. Once I passed by the stadium under Trachsel. The team seemed to be practicing, but the gates were locked and a student assistant was sent out to ask me what I was doing there and where I was going. Unwelcome was the message. Very anecdotal, but stuff like that's why Allister would've gotten an extension even if she had a losing W/L record.
 

Gopher68

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For all the talk of financial constraints limiting Coyle's ability to offer more to Jamie, how many coaches can he hire that will accept a one year contract? He will need to offer a multi-year contract. There must be other factors in his decision to offer only a one year extension.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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For all the talk of financial constraints limiting Coyle's ability to offer more to Jamie, how many coaches can he hire that will accept a one year contract? He will need to offer a multi-year contract. There must be other factors in his decision to offer only a one year extension.
I slept on it.

What about this theory? Losing Lindaman was the one unforgivable sin that Coyle could not get over. It wasn’t a firing sin. The WCWS, the record GPA, the development of under-recruited players - especially DenHartog but others as well, the hiring of Reitcovich, the stop-loss of an Allister exodus in Summer/Fall 2017, the 2018 Big Ten Tourney championship, the general continued competitiveness of the team were all fine, but the Lindaman transfer was so bad that Coyle would never make a stretch, not any little stretch at all, for Trachsel.

So she asked for a little to compete with another offer and he said “ya better take that other offer.”

I am not adjudicating which one of the two (Coyle v Trachsel) is more right in that scenario. To me it’s close. That Lindaman loss was so terrible. But I am a touch more forgiving than some on that issue because it’s not like she went to Michigan. I mean Florida could not be more different. Anyway, just a theory.
 

MplsGopher

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I love softball, the best sport in America, even more than Volleyball, which I also watch as much as I can. But volleyball gets 25-30 packed, 5000 attendee games. There is a huge financial difference.

In addition, McCutchen can go down to Texas and tell Jenna Wenaas to come to Minnesota and play against the best volleyball teams in that country. And when we win the Big Ten, we will get the top or at worst second seed in the NCAA tournament, which the Big Ten almost always is entitled to nowadays.

Softball is harder. You can win the Big Ten and not even get a regional host seed... it has happened.
Relatively huge, compared to soccer or softball, sure. Compared to football? They're all peanuts.

Football, and to a lesser extent men's basketball and men's hockey, fund the entire athletic dept. Volleyball still lets students in for free, like the rest of the sports other than the ones I just mentioned.


If the ACC and SEC can just decide to pump a bunch of football money into trying to up-jump their volleyball teams, there is no reason the Big Ten can't do the same with softball. If they have that attitude.
 

MplsGopher

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Trust me, Minnesota produces plenty of elite volleyball talent. Check out how Minnesota players do in both college and at the national team level. Minnesota is an extremely strong hotbed of volleyball talent anyway you slice it.

As to the rest of it, I don't know that much about finances at it relates to softball. I do know that Jane Sage is one of the best home field advantages in college softball.

After that, I don't really have any insight.
Like I said, my comment was about quantity, not quality. Yes, at the very top level, Minn has produced some very talented players. Some.

But Minn club programs are for the most part not anywhere near the best in the nation. And most of the national team players did not grow up playing club and high school in Minnesota.
 

MplsGopher

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What is clear to me is that Jamie, despite any and all faults, wound up at a not bad job. The Ole Miss job is not a terrible one for her to complain about... I mean it is not Florida or Texas or Oklahoma, or UCLA, but it ain’t bad.
Is it actually that great of a program?

Their softball stadium doesn't look like anything special.


Shows that their two highest attendance were in the 17xx: https://olemisssports.com/sports/20...facilities-softball-complex-html.aspx?id=1230
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Is it actually that great of a program?

Their softball stadium doesn't look like anything special.
From what I learned yesterday, it appears to me that to Trachsel, Ole Miss was less akin to a “trophy spouse” and more akin to a “life-raft”.
 

MplsGopher

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Be curious to know what her salary was here at the U and what it will be at Mississippi.
 

MRJ

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Like I said, my comment was about quantity, not quality. Yes, at the very top level, Minn has produced some very talented players. Some.

But Minn club programs are for the most part not anywhere near the best in the nation. And most of the national team players did not grow up playing club and high school in Minnesota.
That's not true either.

Traditionally, Minnesota clubs have been very successful nationally, especially Northern Lights, which is where all of the Minnesota natives on different national team rosters played (Jordan Thompson, Tori Dixon, Sam Seliger-Swenson, Sarah Wilhite-Parsons, Hannah and Paige Tapp all played their club volleyball for Northern Lights).

You can make the argument that there's been a downturn in recent years because that would be accurate.

But to suggest Minnesota clubs have always been worse than others is just flat wrong, especially when the Northern Lights team that featured Wilhite, the Tapp sisters, Seliger-Swenson, Alyssa Goehner and several other top Minnesota players won a national title in club ball.

On top of that, up until recently, Minnesota clubs have been consistently ranked amongst the top clubs at different age brackets.

I'll admit to not keeping up with recent club rankings. But in the later 2000s and early 2010s, Minnesota club teams were all over the national club rankings.
 

MplsGopher

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And .... Northern Lights isn't even a top 10 club program in the nation. Yes, they have produced some elite players. I never questioned that.

Fine, I'm talking about recently. Maybe they were higher ranked in the earlier 2010's and 2000's.

There are lots of different national teams and rosters. I'm talking about the main, "varsity" team, if you want to call it that. Tori Dixon is usually on it, I don't remember is she's a starting middle, but definitely plays.
 

MRJ

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And .... Northern Lights isn't even a top 10 club program in the nation. Yes, they have produced some elite players. I never questioned that.

Fine, I'm talking about recently. Maybe they were higher ranked in the earlier 2010's and 2000's.

There are lots of different national teams and rosters. I'm talking about the main, "varsity" team, if you want to call it that. Tori Dixon is usually on it, I don't remember is she's a starting middle, but definitely plays.
The national team roster rotates based on matchups and availability. That's why the roster is mostly a pool of players and changes on a regular basis.

And you're right about the recent downturn. Seems like the past few years the overall level of talent has dipped somewhat.

With that said, Minnesota has long been a hot-bed of volleyball prospects, even with the recent downturn.

Even with that said, the state still regularly produces extremely high level talent that does well at every level of the sport (NCAA Divisions I, II and III and professionally).

Ask coach McCutcheon or any other college coach at any level and they'll tell you the same thing.
 

MplsGopher

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The national team roster rotates based on matchups and availability. That's why the roster is mostly a pool of players and changes on a regular basis.

And you're right about the recent downturn. Seems like the past few years the overall level of talent has dipped somewhat.

With that said, Minnesota has long been a hot-bed of volleyball prospects, even with the recent downturn.

Even with that said, the state still regularly produces extremely high level talent that does well at every level of the sport (NCAA Divisions I, II and III and professionally).

Ask coach McCutcheon or any other college coach at any level and they'll tell you the same thing.
I still think you're over selling it.

If you asked McCutcheon "does Minnesota producea few high level players every year", the answer would be yes. But that's not what you're making it out to be, in my reading of your opinions. To me, it reads like you're saying Minnesota players are starting on every top 15 roster in the nation. Which isn't anywhere close to true.

Even look at our own roster. Our starting eight (including DS) will likely only have two Minnesota players, in McGraw and Kilkelly.

The setter on Wisconsin is a great player. None on Penn St, none on Nebraska. Florida, Texas, or top PAC teams. I probably missed one or two, but it's not a plethora.
 

MRJ

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I still think you're over selling it.

If you asked McCutcheon "does Minnesota producea few high level players every year", the answer would be yes. But that's not what you're making it out to be, in my reading of your opinions. To me, it reads like you're saying Minnesota players are starting on every top 15 roster in the nation. Which isn't anywhere close to true.

Even look at our own roster. Our starting eight (including DS) will likely only have two Minnesota players, in McGraw and Kilkelly.

The setter on Wisconsin is a great player. None on Penn St, none on Nebraska. Florida, Texas, or top PAC teams. I probably missed one or two, but it's not a plethora.
Now you're moving the goalposts. And I agree with you that there has been a recent downturn in the talent produced by the state. Whether that remains the case has yet to be determined.

However, this entire conversation started because you made the assertion that Minnesota wasn't a particularly good volleyball state.

I'll invite you to go back and look at the 2015 and 2016 Gopher Final Four teams, which were absolutely loaded with Minnesota players. In fact, the bulk of those rosters and key players were almost exclusively Minnesota players. Same for Hebert's teams in 2003, 2004 and 2009.

One of the very reasons McCutcheon came here to coach was because of the strong volleyball culture and talent the state produces. And he smartly built up his program using Minnesota players. The rosters prove it.

It's only in the past few years McCutcheon has recruited heavily outside of Minnesota, so trust me, he fully understands the level of talent Minnesota has regularly produced.

Do they recruit Minnesota exclusively? No, but no coach is going to stick all their eggs in one basket, that's why the schools you mention typically also recruit nationally.

Are there five star recruits flying out of the woodwork? No, but to suggest Minnesota has been and is somehow devoid of talent is just flat wrong.

Do Texas and California produce more? Obviously. California has a population of 40 million people and Texas has a population of 29 million. Simple numbers tell you there is going to be more talent there.

Minnesota has a population of about 5.6 million and still produces players who become All-Americans, head to Final Fours and regularly make the national team pool. Those are just facts.
 

MplsGopher

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Now you're moving the goalposts. And I agree with you that there has been a recent downturn in the talent produced by the state. Whether that remains the case has yet to be determined.

However, this entire conversation started because you made the assertion that Minnesota wasn't a particularly good volleyball state.
That's not what I said. Certainly is not what I meant to imply.

What I meant was: it's a good volleyball state, but not any kind of national feeder level of state, like California or Texas.

I'll invite you to go back and look at the 2015 and 2016 Gopher Final Four teams, which were absolutely loaded with Minnesota players. In fact, the bulk of those rosters and key players were almost exclusively Minnesota players. Same for Hebert's teams in 2003, 2004 and 2009.

One of the very reasons McCutcheon came here to coach was because of the strong volleyball culture and talent the state produces. And he smartly built up his program using Minnesota players. The rosters prove it.

It's only in the past few years McCutcheon has recruited heavily outside of Minnesota, so trust me, he fully understands the level of talent Minnesota has regularly produced.

Do they recruit Minnesota exclusively? No, but no coach is going to stick all their eggs in one basket, that's why the schools you mention typically also recruit nationally.

Are there five star recruits flying out of the woodwork? No, but to suggest Minnesota has been and is somehow devoid of talent is just flat wrong.

Do Texas and California produce more? Obviously. California has a population of 40 million people and Texas has a population of 29 million. Simple numbers tell you there is going to be more talent there.

Minnesota has a population of about 5.6 million and still produces players who become All-Americans, head to Final Fours and regularly make the national team pool. Those are just facts.
I don't think there's much more point in me arguing this with you.

Nothing you state above is incorrect. Though unless you can find me a direct quote from McCutcheon, I somewhat doubt he came here because of the ability to recruit Minnesota players specifically. I think he came here because we wanted a national contender, we have a tremendous fanbase, and were willing to pay him and provide for him like a national contender.

At the same time, I'm correct - at the very least in the last few years - which you don't disagree with.
 

MRJ

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That's not what I said. Certainly is not what I meant to imply.

What I meant was: it's a good volleyball state, but not any kind of national feeder level of state, like California or Texas.


I don't think there's much more point in me arguing this with you.

Nothing you state above is incorrect. Though unless you can find me a direct quote from McCutcheon, I somewhat doubt he came here because of the ability to recruit Minnesota players specifically. I think he came here because we wanted a national contender, we have a tremendous fanbase, and were willing to pay him and provide for him like a national contender.

At the same time, I'm correct - at the very least in the last few years - which you don't disagree with.
McCutcheon didn't come here simply because of any one reason. Like all coaches, he came here for a number of reasons.

One big one was that his wife is a Minnesota native (and was an NCAA Volleyball All-American at UCLA). All the other factors you mention also played a role, but Minnesota is an attractive job for a number of reasons, including the quality of players it typically has produced, the commitment of the fanbase, the commitment of the university and its history of challenging for top billing in the nation's best conference.

All of those make it a great job, one which has led McCutcheon to pass on other job openings, including Stanford which opened up a few years back.

Not that any of that matters to the point of this thread, which is that Minnesota is a better volleyball state than softball state. In that regard, there is no argument.

The Minnesota softball job is a much more challenging gig for a number of reasons, many of which both of us fully realize. Tough weather, being on the road for extended periods, not as many top-flight recruits and so on.

Thankfully, the program has built itself up, has a great home field advantage and a rabid (if not small) fan base. They've also won a bunch of conference titles and have gone to Super Regionals and a WCWS to boot.

Gotta find somebody that can keep that momentum rolling while also being able to understand the difficulties of the job.
 

4EverAGopher

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Others not previously mentioned Minnesota Volleyball players are Jordan Thompson at the U of Cincinnati (USA player) and the Orr Setters at Iowa and Nebraska. Also, the two setters Sidney Hilley and Izzy Ashburn at Wisconsin. Yes Minnesota has and will continue to produce outstanding Volleyball athletes.

Anyway, if Brandner and Partain are not coming back we are missing two of the Gophers best hitters over the past years. Not trying to take away from those returning, but how we easily forget the struggles we had at the plate. Just saying, some of the Seniors were not producing last couple seasons like we would have hoped for. Sure it is nice they decided to return and got the opportunity, but we need a lot of help with the bats.

Question for me is.....in any sport, have there been many Head Coaches that have transferred and NOT RECEIVED BETTER PAY with their new position? It is a safe bet IMO that money certainly plays some type of role if not a major role in all of these final decisions. It does not just happen in college softball but "all sports". Take a look at professional players salaries. Now that is a JOKE!!!!
 

MplsGopher

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Not that any of that matters to the point of this thread, which is that Minnesota is a better volleyball state than softball state. In that regard, there is no argument.

The Minnesota softball job is a much more challenging gig for a number of reasons, many of which both of us fully realize. Tough weather, being on the road for extended periods, not as many top-flight recruits and so on.

Thankfully, the program has built itself up, has a great home field advantage and a rabid (if not small) fan base. They've also won a bunch of conference titles and have gone to Super Regionals and a WCWS to boot.

Gotta find somebody that can keep that momentum rolling while also being able to understand the difficulties of the job.
Right, let's bring it back to softball.

The bolded was the point of why I said it in the first place. I don't think McCutcheon has any need or even desire to fill up the Gophers with Minnesota players. The rosters the last few years certainly don't reflect that. I think he wants to recruit nationally, go after top ranked classes, and compete for national titles, which will require he continue to grab players from California, Texas, and the great lakes areas.

I don't see why it can't be the same in softball.

The main weakness, as you noted, would be the amount of playing on the home field and the crowds. I don't know what softball attendance looks like nationally, but guessing only a handful of programs in the nation routinely attract over 1000 fans per game.

So if girls could come here to compete for national titles, regardless of the weather or travel, I think they would consider it.


This is all I'm getting at.
 

MplsGopher

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and the Orr Setters at Iowa and Nebraska. Also, the two setters Sidney Hilley and Izzy Ashburn at Wisconsin.
I did specifically mention Hilley for Wisconsin.

I thought I have read rumors of some dislake/fued between the Orr family and Minnesota volleyball (or perhaps McCutcheon specifically?). For a different thread or PM.

Anyway ...
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Nobody bit on commenting on my Lindaman theory from this morning (see above). Probably smart. It would only stir bad feelings.

I am going to try to pivot to the future and focus on the 2021 team and message board going forward.
 

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Hate to say it, but I feel you need a HIGHLY NOTABLE/LIKEABLE coach willing to come here and take over this program. They have to be "recognized" and successful, able to recruit (sell the program), and know how to and be willing to "build" a program. Be able to "live and breathe" the Minnesota Softball Program no matter the challenges that come before them.

We have proven Minnesotan's can play softball at a very high level no matter our weather. However, WE NEED TWO or more starting pitchers. That is no hidden secret with those programs that have much success. Glad Pease transferred in and hope she stays here. Fiser and her are both much needed next season.

Would Lindeman be coming back to Minnesota? Wow that would be some great news. Is it possible and wishful thinking on my part? Probably....

Yes, look where the Volleyball program is? Do you think the hiring of Hugh McCutheons's has anything to do with that? YOU BETCHA!!! Granted his wife's family is from here and if not we more than likely would not have seen him hired and the present success of this program.

I can argue another program at the University that is going backwards after much success. The right Head Coach is not in place and therefore the recruiting IMO has suffered. This program has been down for over 4 years. Sad to be one of the top 5 in the NCAA and lucky to break the top 10 now.

Proven/Likeable Coaches breathe sucessful programs. Am I wrong in my thinking? I believe it can happen here.
 
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