Natalie Darwitz, the legendary Minnesota women's hockey player who was promoted to associate head coach for the Gophers women's team in January, no longer is with the program, head coach Brad Frost confirmed Monday evening.
"Natalie is no longer a member of our coaching staff," Frost said. "She is a great alum and ambassador for women's hockey. We appreciate all she has done for our program both as a player and a coach."
Frost did not elaborate on the situation, and Darwitz was not immediately available to comment. She is no longer listed among the team's coaches on the Gophers website. There were indications within the program that Frost and Darwitz had philosophical differences.
Darwitz had been with the Gophers in her second stint as an assistant coach since the 2021-22 season after a successful run at Division III Hamline in which she led the Pipers to an NCAA runner-up finish and another Frozen Four appearance.
With Darwitz, 39, as Frost's top assistant, the Gophers went 30-6-3 in 2022-23, winning the WCHA tournament and reaching the NCAA Women's Frozen Four semifinals in Duluth, where they fell 3-2 in overtime to eventual national champion Wisconsin.
In 2021-22, Darwitz helped guide the Gophers to the WCHA regular-season title before they lost 2-1 to Minnesota Duluth in an NCAA regional final at Ridder Arena. The former Eagan High School star's first run as Gophers assistant coach was from 2008 through 2011.
As a player, Darwitz helped the Gophers win NCAA championships in 2004 and '05, earning Frozen Four most outstanding player honors in 2005. During the 2004-05 season, she set an NCAA single-season record with 114 points and was named the Bob Allen national women's player of the year. The three-time All-America honoree ranks third in program history in points (246), first in points per game (2.48), sixth in goals (102), second in assists (144) and first in assists per game (1.45).
Darwitz also was a standout for Team USA, earning two Olympic silver medals and one bronze medal, along with three gold medals in the world championships.
Frost has guided the Gophers to 10 Frozen Four appearances and four NCAA championships, the last coming in 2016. He received a three-year contract extension in October 2021, and has the 2023-24 season remaining on the deal.