OXFORD, Miss. - Having reached unprecedented heights and built Minnesota into a Women's College World Series team, Jamie Trachsel has been tabbed as the sixth head coach to lead the Ole Miss softball program, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter announced on Friday.
One of the most respected minds in the game, Trachsel's 10-year head coaching career has been marked by high-level success every step along the way at North Dakota State, Iowa State and Minnesota. The 2019 NFCA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year has collected 11 conference regular-season and tournament championships, developed 47 all-conference honorees, and guided her teams to the NCAA Tournament in seven of nine complete seasons, including a trip to the 2019 WCWS with the Golden Gophers.
"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."
With a 346-184-1 (.652) overall record as a head coach, including a .792 winning percentage against conference foes, Trachsel brings a tradition of winning in line with the lofty expectations held at Ole Miss, which boasts four NCAA Regional berths, two Super Regionals and an SEC Tournament crown over the previous four seasons.
"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. Thank you to (search committee members) Keith, Shannon (Singletary) and Lynnette (Johnson) for believing in me not only as a coach but as a person. I am looking forward to this journey at Ole Miss. Go Rebels!"
In her three-year stint with the Golden Gophers, Trachsel took over a program on the rise and kept the ascent going to the upper echelon of the softball world. After finishing off her inaugural season in Minneapolis with 41 wins, a Big Ten Tournament title, an appearance in the NCAA Seattle Regional Final and four All-Big Ten and NFCA All-Region honorees, Trachsel helmed the Gophers to their most prolific season in history in 2019.
Playing arguably the nation's most challenging schedule, Minnesota racked up a 41-12 record during the regular season, setting the stage for a magical postseason run. The No. 8 national seeded Gophers ripped through the Regional and Super Regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament with five straight wins, including two apiece over SEC foes in No. 14 Georgia and No. 10 LSU. Minnesota then set sail for Oklahoma City, making its first trip to the Women's College World Series in the NCAA era.
Five Gophers were named to the All-Big Ten and NFCA All-Region squads, respectively, following Trachsel's second season at Minnesota, while Gopher ace Amber Fiser was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-American.
Minnesota finished the season ranked No. 8 in both the USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top-25 Poll. The No. 8 ranking is the highest the Gophers have finished a season in either major poll. Minnesota also finished No. 7 in the NCAA RPI, which is not only the school's highest RPI to finish a season, but the highest at any point in program history. For their efforts, Trachsel and her staff were named the NFCA Great Lakes All-Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
Ranked in the top 10 in five different preseason polls heading into 2020, Trachsel and the Gophers hit the ground running once again. Minnesota collected a 15-9-1 record prior to the cancelation of the remainder of the spring season due to the coronavirus, including ranked wins over No. 5 Florida State and No. 19 Missouri. Sophomore slugger Natalie DenHartog was tabbed a Shortened Season All-American by Softball America.
The Gophers also made history in the classroom under Trachsel. Their spring 2019 semester GPA of 3.63 was the highest in program history, while eleven different players notched 2019 Academic All-Big Ten honors. In total, Trachsel's players have received 41 academic all-league honors.
Prior to taking over Minnesota, Trachsel spent one season in the Big XII as the head coach at Iowa State. She led the Cyclones to a fifth-place conference finish in 2017, garnering their highest league win total in eight years along with the best regular-season Big XII finish since 1994. Trachsel's squad also saw improvement in the circle, dropping its team era by nearly two runs per game to the lowest since 2010. Two Cyclones earned NFCA All-Region First Team honors in Kelsey McFarland and Sami Williams, the latter selected to the All-Big XII First Team as well, one of only three freshmen league-wide to earn that award.
Trachsel arrived in Ames following 14 seasons at North Dakota State, including the final six as co-head coach. In those half-dozen seasons, NDSU compiled a 221-109 overall record (.670), a 98-19 mark (.838) in the Summit League and advanced to NCAA Regional play five times. The Bison won their conference regular-season championship and the tournament championship five times each with Trachsel as co-head coach.
NDSU won at least 30 games - including a school-record 45 in 2015 when it climbed as high as 41st in the NCAA Percentage Ratings Index (RPI) - for 10 straight seasons. The Bison advanced to the NCAA Regionals in seven of Trachsel's final eight seasons in Fargo. In 2009, NDSU pulled a shocking upset, claiming the Norman Regional over perennial power Oklahoma.
Her tenure with NDSU began with two seasons (2002-04) as a graduate assistant, followed by three (2005-07) as an assistant coach, three (2008-10) as associate head coach and the last six (2011-16) as co-head coach.
During her stay in Fargo, Trachsel coached five All-Americans, 25 All-Region players and 59 All-Conference student athletes, including five Summit League Players of the Year and five Summit League Pitchers of the Year. The Minnesota native was also a part of staffs recognized as NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year twice in 2009 and 2015.
As a player, Trachsel competed for NCAA Division II program St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She led the Huskies to three straight NCAA Division II tournament appearances and one conference title. Trachsel made the 1999 NCAA Division II All-Region Tournament Team and received All-Academic honors from the NFCA twice. SCSU won 127 games during her career.
As a prep athlete, Trachsel earned 17 letters across four sports at Duluth (Minn.) Central High School. She is also a nine-time national champion in racquetball (1988-93 and 2003-05).
Trachsel earned a bachelor's degree in sports management (minors in coaching and human relations) from St. Cloud State in 2001. She added a Master of Education degree in athletics administration from North Dakota State in 2006.