Banham elevated to Gophers assistant coach as Plitzuweit finalizes staff

The University of Minnesota women’s basketball staff for the upcoming season has officially been set, and it includes a high-profile alumna.

Coach Dawn Plitzuweit finalized her staff Monday ahead of her first season leading the Gophers and elevated former Gopher and current Minnesota Lynx guard Rachel Banham to an assistant coach role.

Banham, who finished her collegiate career as the leading scorer in Big Ten history, joined her alma mater as the director of quality control last fall.

Plitzuweit says Banham will continue to serve in that role but will also be an assistant coach for the upcoming season, as will Tyler VanWinkle. Additionally, Jan Whitbeck was named the director of strategic operations, Adam Marso was added as the director of basketball operations, Meghan Bielich is the director of creative content and Brooke Olson and Stevan Yan were named the team’s graduate manager and intern, respectively.

“We are extremely excited to announce the completion of our staff for the upcoming season,” Plitzuweit said in a statement. “The adjustment in NCAA rules now permits us to have six coaches on the court in practices and in games. We are fortunate to have Rachel Banham and Tyler VanWinkle expanding their roles within our program and now also assisting us in these new coaching positions.”

Back in March, Plitzuweit announced Jason Jeschke, Aaron Horn and Ariel Braker as members of her staff.

This will be Plitzuweit’s first season leading the Gophers. She previously coached at Grand Valley State, Northern Kentucky, South Dakota, and, most recently, West Virginia.