Golden Gopher women’s hockey assistant coach Natalie Darwitz has been promoted to associate head coach. In three full seasons behind the bench at Minnesota, Darwitz has helped guide the Gophers to a 58-15-5 record and two WCHA regular season titles in 2009 and 2022.
“We are excited to move Natalie into this position,” said head coach Brad Frost. “She has had a tremendous impact on our program over many years and is very deserving of this promotion.”
Darwitz, an Eagan, Minn. native, played at the ‘U’ for three years (2002-05). In that span, she helped the Gophers win back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005 and was named 2005 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player. In the 2004-05 season, Darwitz set an NCAA single-season record with 114 points and was named Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year. The three-time All-American currently ranks third in program history in points (246), first in points per game (2.48), fifth in goals (102), second in assists (144), and first in assists per game (1.45). On the national stage, Darwitz is a three-time Olympic medalist (silver in 2002 and 2010 and bronze in 2006) and three-time IIHF World gold medalist. She has represented the United States in three Olympics, eight IIHF World Women’s Championships, and ten Women’s 4 Nations Cups. Other accolades include being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame, Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame and ‘M’ Club Hall of Fame.
Darwitz began her coaching career in 2007-08 as an assistant on her father’s staff with Eagan High School’s girls hockey team. In 2008-09, she joined the Gophers staff as an assistant coach, before taking a year-long hiatus the following season to be Team USA’s captain for the 2010 Olympics. After the Olympics, she returned to Minnesota’s bench for the 2010-11 season. Following the season, Darwitz was announced as the next head coach of Lakeville South High School’s girls hockey team. The Gopher great rejoined the Minnesota coaching staff prior to the 2021-22 season from Hamline, where she had been head coach for six seasons. Darwitz led the Pipers to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four in 2018 and NCAA Division III national runners-up in 2019.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)