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Ole Miss hires Jamie Trachsel as next softball coach

A proven leader at top NCAA programs heads to Oxford.

Shari L. Gross-Star Tribune

Jamie Trachsel will be named the next head coach at Ole Miss softball, the school announced on Friday. Athletic Director Keith Carter makes another big splash with his most recent hire that coincides with the lofty expectations of continued success within the program.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work for a great administration and great people who believe in me to lead their softball program,” Trachsel said. “I am looking forward to meeting the team and getting to know each of them individually.”

Trachsel, who just completed her third season as the head coach of the University of Minnesota, is a big time hire. The Rebels got off to a lackluster start in 2020 after former head coach Mike Smith resigned in December and saw two program-defining players transfer in the last seven days.

Under Trachsel’s watch, the Gophers finished 46-14 and reached the Women’s College World Series for the first time ever in the NCAA era in 2019. After rolling through a home regional, it won two games over LSU in the team’s first ever Minneapolis Super Regional.

Minnesota finished Trachsel’s second season at the helm ranked No. 8 in the country, its highest ranking in history. It had five All-Big Ten honorees and Amber Fiser was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-American in the circle.

Trachsel inherited a talented program in her first season and led the Gophers to a 41-17 season, their third straight Big Ten Tournament title and sixth consecutive NCAA tournament. The 2020 season began 15-9-1 with wins over No. 5 Florida State and No. 19 Missouri, but was cut short due to COVID-19.

Prior to Minnesota, Trachsel coached Iowa State for one season and led the team to its best finish in the Big 12 since 1994.

Iowa State Athletics

Before her time in Aimes, Iowa, she spent six years moving through the ranks of a perennial NCAA Tournament contender North Dakota State that reached five regionals in six years.

North Dakota State Athletics

“Ole Miss Softball is a championship program, and we were looking for a World Series-caliber coach that can lead this team to the top of sport. We found that and more in Jamie Trachsel,” Carter said. “Highly respected in the industry, Jamie has not only won at multiple levels but dominated conferences and taken a team to the brink of a national title. Along the way, she has proven to be an elite developer of talent, coaching countless award-winning players. We are beyond excited to welcome Jamie to the Ole Miss family and see her determination and leadership impact our student-athletes for years to come.”

It is expected that Trachsel will bring former Ole Miss volunteer assistant coach Kaitie Rietkovich Browder back to Oxford. Browder, who played a big role in implementing the slapper offense under Mike Smith, spent the last two years at Minnesota and led the team’s high-powered offense.

Trachsel spoke with the team on Friday and will have a full offseason to get acclimated to her program before 2021 opening day.