Dawn Plitzuweit was named associate head coach of the University of Michigan women's basketball program on April 10, 2007. Considered to be one of the top coaches in the nation at the NCAA Division II level, Plitzuweit has had great success in her five years as a head coach.
Prior to her arrival in Ann Arbor, Plitzuweit spent five years at the helm of the Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Mich.) women's program. Under her direction, the Lakers earned four postseason berths, including an NCAA Division II National Championship title in 2005-06. Plitzuweit compiled a 117-39 (.750) record, including a 68-22 (.756) mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
In her final season at Grand Valley State, Plitzuweit guided the Lakers to a 21-8 record, the program's fourth 20-win season under her tutelage. Led by a pair of All-GLIAC first-team selections, the 2006-07 squad made its third straight appearance in the NCAA Great Lakes Region Tournament, bowing out to Gannon, 66-59, in the quarterfinals.
Plitzuweit led Grand Valley State to its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship title in 2005-06. Posting a school-best 33-3 record, including a 17-1 conference mark and a 22-game winning streak, the Lakers captured both the GLIAC Tournament and Great Lakes Region Tournament titles en route to a 58-52 victory over American International in the national championship game.
In addition to the three team titles, a number of Lakers also earned individual accolades in 2005-06. Plitzuweit was named the Women's College Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, as well as the Molten/Women's Division II Bulletin Coach of the Year. Senior forward Niki Reams garnered her second consecutive GLIAC Player of the Year award, the first player to do so since Plitzuweit accomplished the feat in 1994 and '95 for Michigan Tech University. Braseth was named the 2006 NCAA Division II National Championship Most Outstanding Player.
In the summer of 2006, Plitzuweit served as a trials court coach for USA Basketball's FIBA Americas U20 Championship for Women Team Trials.
The 2004-05 season was another successful one for Plitzuweit and her staff. Capped off by the program's first-ever Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament, Grand Valley State compiled a 28-6 record for the year. The Lakers claimed the GLIAC Tournament and Great Lakes Region Tournament titles, which were also firsts for the program. Reams earned the first of two Kodak/WBCA All-America nominations, while Plitzuweit garnered RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Coach of the Year honors.
In 2003-04, the Lakers failed to qualify for the GLIAC Tournament after dropping their season finale to Northern Michigan and closing out the season with an 11-15 record.
Plitzuweit led her team to a 24-7 finish in her first season at Grand Valley State, going 13-5 in conference action. GVSU advanced to the GLIAC Tournament title game but fell to Lake Superior State, 67-60. The performance, however, earned the Lakers a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in four years. Plitzuweit coached Zeeff to a first-team selection on the All-GLIAC team, while senior guard Laurie Rehmann earned second team honors and was named to the league's All-Defensive team.
Prior to her head coaching days at Grand Valley State, Plitzuweit served a four-year stint (1998-2002) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as the women's basketball program's top assistant and chief recruiter. Under the direction of current U-M head coach Kevin Borseth, Plitzuweit was responsible for the development of the team's post players and guards in addition to the team's academics.
In her time with Wisconsin-Green Bay, the Phoenix won four regular-season Horizon League championships, three conference tournament titles, and made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. UW-Green Bay tallied an 86-35 record, including a 52-6 league mark, during Plitzuweit's tenure as an assistant. The Phoenix performed just as strongly in the classroom, with the 2000-01 squad earning the highest cumulative grade point average of any Division I women's basketball program.
Plitzuweit began her coaching career under Borseth, serving as his assistant coach at Michigan Tech for two years (1995-97) before traveling to the University of Wisconsin for the 1997-98 season. While at Wisconsin, the Badgers compiled a 21-10 record, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Michigan Tech went 39-20 with Plitzuweit as assistant coach and made two trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
In her playing days at Michigan Tech, Plitzuweit was a four-year starter (1990-91, `92-95) for Borseth, leading the Huskies to a 99-22 overall record. During her career, Plitzuweit helped her team to one GLIAC Tournament title and four trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Plitzuweit (then Zarling) closed out her career as MTU's all-time leader in rebounds (866), assists (439), and steals (331), while ranking second in points (1,398) and games played (121).
Her individual achievements include back-to-back GLIAC Player of the Year awards, three consecutive all-conference first-team honors, and three league all-defensive team nods. Plitzuweit was a Division II Bulletin second team All-America selection in 1995 in addition to being a two-time Kodak All-America honorable mention (1994-95). She earned WBCA All-Academic accolades in 1993-94 and was named Michigan's NCAA Woman of the Year in 1995. Plitzuweit graduated from Michigan Tech in 1995 with a degree in biological sciences.
A native of West Bend, Wis., Plitzuweit and her husband, Jay, have ason, A.J., and a daughter, Lexi.
The Dawn Plitzuweit File Birthday: October 31, 1972 Hometown: West Bend, Wis. High School: Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson, Wis.) College: Michigan Tech, 1995 (B.S. Biological Sciences) Family: Married, husband Jay; children A.J. and Lexi Pronunciation: Plitts-zoo-white