WVU Women’s Basketball
Source: WBB Players First Heard About Dawn Plitzuweit’s Departure on Twitter
In matter of just a few hours, the tone surrounding the West Virginia women’s basketball program drastically changed from one of moving in the right direction to utter chaos. A source tells WVSN that this disarray was caused by the manner in which now former WVU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit handled her decision to depart the school.
This source, who wishes to remain anonymous, wanted to set the record straight about the speculation of when Plitzuweit may have told her team about her choice to accept the head coach position at Minnesota and what reports are actually accurate. The source confirms that the players first learned about the news on Twitter, not from Plitzuweit herself. According to the source, someone tipped off the players to check Twitter while they were on the bus headed back to Morgantown. They then saw the speculation about Minnesota possibly hiring their coach.
A really good source has confirmed speculation about how Dawn Plitzuweit handled her departure from West Virginia. I have been told she was NOT on the bus home after the game and the players did NOT hear the news from her directly. They were tipped off to check Twitter. https://t.co/E8Fpb5aLB2
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) March 20, 2023
Furthermore, this source says the reports indicating Plitzuweit was crying after informing her team in the locker room immediately after the Mountaineers loss to Arizona in the NCAA Women’s Tournament are false. The source says nothing was said at that time about the 50-year-old coach leaving WVU.
Any confusion about whether or not Plitzuweit and her staff traveled back to Morgantown from College Park, Maryland has now also been dispelled by this source. The source confirms no coach, not Plitzuweit, nor any other assistant coach on the staff were on the bus with the team as they made the three hour trip back home following the end of their season. It was around this time when the news began to leak about Plitzuweit being a top target of Minnesota. Mitchell Northam, a freelance member of the Sports Now family of networks, was the first to report that information. Those rumors quickly transitioned into reports that she would be taking over the Golden Gophers job. That night then closed with others stepping away from those claims, stating that no deal had been reached and nothing was official.
Dawn Plitzuweit Leaves West Virginia WBB to Take Over as HC at Minnesota
Fast forward to the next morning, still less than 24 hours after the Mountaineers suffered an early postseason exit, and the Minnesota program confirmed the hiring of Plitzuweit. After telling WVU she would in fact be accepting the offer from Minnesota, Plitzuweit did eventually address her team about all of this.
WVU Director of Athletics Wren Baker even confirmed a meeting was called for the players with remaining eligibility for the next day at 11 am. The source reiterated that this meeting was only for players who had the ability to return to the school and Plitzuweit has still not talked with the players who do not have any edibility left in their college careers. Baker opened up about what was discussed in this meeting during a press conference with the media, including WVSN, on Monday. He said Plitzuweit did briefly talk with the players at that meeting. Based on what she said to the players at the meeting and when she finalized her choice with him, Baker says he feels Plitzuweit leaving for Minnesota is mostly about her desire to be closer to family and not a slight to West Virginia or West Virginia University.
Baker has also made it clear finding a new women’s basketball head coach is now his top priority. This is something he hopes to have accomplished within the next month.
Due to the uncertainty and questions stemming from this shocking development, some were open with their criticism of Plitzuweit’s handling of the situation. While fans focused on the fact she left in general, others pointed to understanding the business of sports, but a displeasure in the murkiness of how it all went down.
WVSN will continue to keep tabs on this story and provide any update as we learn more.