Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit has announced the addition of Jason Jeschke, Aaron Horn and Ariel Braker to the Minnesota women’s basketball coaching staff. Jeschke will serve as the Associate Head Coach while Horn and Braker will be Assistant Coaches under Plitzuweit.
“I am incredibly excited and thankful to have the opportunity to continue working alongside Jason, Aaron and Ariel,” Plitzuweit said. “We have great synergy and connectivity as a staff, and we have continued to learn and grow together over the years. I know that our players, staff, recruits and fans will be fired up when they have a chance to meet all three of our coaches as well.”
Jeschke (JESS-key), a native of Dallas, Texas, comes to Minneapolis after one season at West Virginia in the same role. He helped the Mountaineers to a 2023 NCAA Tournament appearance and coached an All-Big 12 First Team selection, a Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection and an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection in 2022-23.
Prior to his time in Morgantown Jeschke spent five seasons under Plitzuweit at South Dakota. From 2017-22, he assisted the program to a 135-27 overall record, including a 73-5 mark in the Summit League. Additionally, Jeschke helped guide USD to three regular-season championships, three conference tournament championships and four NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2022. Jeschke began his time at USD as an assistant coach for the 2017-18 campaign, before being elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2018-19 season. Jeschke also recruited and coached 19 Summit League All-Conference selections in his five seasons at South Dakota, including two Players of the Year, five consecutive Defensive Players of the Year, two Newcomers of the Year and four Sixth Woman of the Year recipients. Jeschke graduated from Southwestern College (Kan.) with a bachelor’s in sport management in 2009.
“My family and I are excited and incredibly thankful for the opportunity to join Coach Plitzuweit in Minneapolis,” Jeschke said. “The University of Minnesota is a special place with a rich history of academic excellence, athletic success and competes in the best conference in the nation in the Big Ten. Having worked with Dawn for the past six seasons, I know her to be a great leader and developer of young women both on and off the court. I am absolutely pumped to work alongside her and the rest of our staff.”
Horn, a Cleveland, Ohio, native joins Minnesota’s staff in the Twin Cities after spending the last seven seasons with Plitzuweit at West Virginia and South Dakota. He aided the West Virginia staff to the NCAA Tournament in 2023 and coached three All-Big 12 selections. Horn was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Thirty Under 30 class of 2017 and helped Plitzuweit become the fastest Summit League coach to reach 100 wins in just 124 games.
Prior to his time in Vermillion, South Dakota, Horn spent three seasons (2013-16) at Division II Ursuline College (Ohio) as an assistant. The Arrows won the Great Midwest Athletic Conference regular season and conference tournament to reach the 2016 NCAA Division II Tournament. Horn also brings coaching experience from the AAU level. He spent four years as the head coach for the Toledo Elite AAU Club and two years at the helm of the Cleveland Wolverines AAU Club. Horn earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Toledo in 2012.
“First I want to thank Coach Plitzuweit for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to become a Golden Gopher,” Horn said. “I am extremely excited to be back in the Midwest and have the opportunity to recruit in a state filled with big-time talent. I have recruited in the Minneapolis area for many years and have always thought it was a great place to be and now to be able to call it home is absolutely remarkable. I am ready, and cannot wait, to get to work.”
Braker, a native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., joins Plitzuweit’s staff with the Gophers after spending one year at both West Virginia and South Dakota in the same role of Assistant Coach as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator in Vermillion.
Braker’s coaching career also includes stints at Oakland (2019-21), Lehigh (2017-19), Western Texas (2016-17), Grosse Point North (HS) and Wayne State (Mich.). She has experience with player development of post players, recruiting, scouting, game strategy, scheduling and mentoring student-athletes. Braker was also a two-year starter and three-time captain during her four-year career at Notre Dame (2010-14) under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw. She was a member of the winningest class in program history, with a 138-15 overall record, four Final Four berths and three National Championship appearances.
“I am extremely excited to be back in the Midwest and have the opportunity to represent the University of Minnesota,” Braker said. “The Big Ten is a highly competitive conference and I am excited to get to work with our student-athletes. The state of Minnesota is rich with basketball talent and I am happy to call it home. Lastly, I am thankful to be working with Coach Plitzuweit and cannot wait to get started.”
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)