For the second time in three years, the Gophers softball program is looking to replace a highly successful coach.
Jamie Trachsel, who in 2019 led Minnesota to its only Women’s College World Series appearance, was named the coach at the University of Mississippi on Friday.
The Gophers hired Trachsel away from Iowa State in July 2017 with a three-year deal paying her $140,000 per season after previous Minnesota coach Jessica Allister departed for Stanford.
Trachsel’s contract was set to expire May 31. The Gophers offered her a one-year extension but she declined, according to the athletic department.
“I appreciate what Coach Trachsel accomplished at Minnesota and wish her the best in her new position,” Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “A national search for our next head coach has already begun, and we have identified several candidates.
“Our program has a history of success, institutional support and a dedicated fan base. We also have a talented core returning next season, and I am excited to share everything our softball program has to offer with candidates.”
The Gophers were 41-17 in 2018, Trachsel’s first season at Minnesota, and 46-14 last season, when they reached the Women’s College World Series and lost twice in two games.
The Gophers were 15-9-1 this season, playing their last game March 12. That left Trachsel with a 102-40-1 record in her three seasons at Minnesota.
Trachsel, a Duluth native, is replacing interim Ole Miss coach Ruben Felix, who took over in December after Mike Smith resigned after five seasons. Ole Miss was 12-13 this season.
“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 in the news release. “I am looking forward to meeting the team and getting to know each of them individually.”
The 2019 Rebels went 41-20, including a victory over Trachsel’s Gophers, and advanced to a Super Regional for the second time in four seasons. It was their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance under Smith. The Rebels had never made the NCAA tournament before Smith became coach in 2015.
“We were looking for a World Series-caliber coach that can lead this team to the top of sport,” Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter said in the news release. “We found that and more in Jamie Trachsel.”