Gopher alum Natalie Darwitz enters her second season as an assistant coach with the University of Minnesota women's hockey team. After taking a year off to be Team USA's captain in 2009-10, Darwitz is ready to return behind the Gopher bench at her alma mater. The Eagan, Minn., native will coach the forwards and assist with other coaching responsibilities such as recruiting, scouting, game-planning and video breakdown.
Darwitz, who finished her Gopher career in 2005, competed in her third-straight Olympics in 2010 and led the United States to a silver medal. Darwitz started her coaching career in 2007-08 as an assistant coach with Eagan High School. There, she helped coach the forwards with her father and head coach Scott Darwitz. In her year with the Wildcats, Darwitz helped Eagan to its first state championship berth in four years with a 20-9-1 overall record. As an assistant with the Gophers, Darwitz aided Minnesota to its first WCHA title since she was on the roster and helped the Gophers' to their first Frozen Four appearance since 2006.
In just 99 career games for the Gophers, Darwitz set a school record of 246 points when she tallied 102 goals and 144 assists. In her final year with Minnesota, Darwitz scored 42 goals and 72 assists for 114 points, breaking the NCAA record for points in a single season. The Patty Kazmaier Award finalist led the country in points per game (2.85) and assists (72). The three-time first-team All-American was named the Most Outstanding Player for her performance at the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four. Not only did Darwitz set the record for points in the NCAA tournament (3-6-9), she also scored the game-winning goal for the Gophers with one minute and eight seconds remaining in the contest to lead them to their second national championship in two years. Darwitz, the 2005 Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Scoring Champion, tallied 72 points in conference action alone and was named a first-team All-WCHA selection for the third straight season. As a freshman, she was also named the WCHA Rookie of the Year, the Gophers first honor.
On the USA Hockey front, Darwitz and Team USA earned a silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal in 2006. Since joining Team USA, Darwitz has been on eight world championship teams and was the youngest player to be selected to the national team at age 15. Darwitz received USA Hockey's Bob Johnson award, which is given to a U.S. athlete who has excelled on the international scene in 2009.
Darwitz At A Glance
EducationB.S. Sports Studies, Minnesota, 2007
Coaching Accomplishments Helped the Gophers to their first WCHA regular season title in 2009 and a NCAA Frozen Four appearance.
Served as an assistant coach at Eagan High School, where she helped the Wildcats to a 20-9-1 overall record and its first state championship berth in four years
Creator and founder of Darwitz Hockey Development Camp and instructed players age 6 and up
Athletic AccomplishmentsHelped lead the Gophers to back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005
NCAA recordholder for points in a season (114 points)
2005 NCAA Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player
Three-time All-American and Patty Kazmaier finalist
WCHA Scoring Champion in 2005 (72 points in WCHA action)
Three-time All-WCHA first-team and 2003 WCHA Rookie of the Year
Held 246 career point in just 99 games for the Gophers, setting the Minnesota record
Youngest member to ever be on the U.S. National Team at the age of 15
Three-time U.S. Olympian in 2002 and and was named the captain in 2010
Named the 2005 and 2008 USA Hockey Player of the Year
Eight-time member of the U.S. World Championship team, including 2008 and 2009 where she captained Team USA to a gold medal