For Piper Ritter, the Gophers were always it.
From playing on the softball team from 2001-04 to joining the coaching staff as an assistant in 2008, Ritter never had fantasies of leaving, sporting different colors. She always knew her place was here. Home.
Through three coaching changes, Ritter has been the constant. And now she’s planning on bringing that same stability to the head coach position.
“It’s not a great feeling for [the players] or me as assistant coach, being somewhere that you love [and having coaches leave],” Ritter said. “And I was just like, I’m kind of tired. I really want to go for this.”
The Gophers named Ritter as the next head coach Sunday, replacing Jamie Trachsel, who left April 25 for the Mississippi job. Trachsel will make $245,000 per year at Ole Miss, compared to $140,000 at Minnesota.
With the University of Minnesota under a hiring freeze because of COVID-19, the Gophers structured Ritter’s three-year contract so she’ll make a base salary of $81,600 during the freeze and $150,000 after it’s lifted.