Denney Wright Steps Down as Gophers' Head Soccer Coach

Go Gophers! Denney Wright guided the Gophers to their only Sweet 16 appearances in program history (2008 and 2010).
Go Gophers!
Denney Wright guided the Gophers to their only Sweet 16 appearances in program history (2008 and 2010).
Go Gophers!

May 22, 2012

Mikki Denney Wright has resigned her position as the head women's soccer coach at the University of Minnesota, director of athletics Joel Maturi announced today. Denney Wright, who has led the Gopher women's soccer program since 2004, said she is stepping aside to devote more time to her family.

"After 14 years as a college coach, I have decided to step away to spend more time with my two young boys, Forrest and Duke." said Denney Wright. "I would like to thank Joel (Maturi), Regina (Sullivan), coach (Jerrod) Roh, coach (Krystle )Seidel and our staff for their hard work and dedication to Gopher soccer. I would also like to thank my husband Shane for the the sacrifices he made allowing me to pursue my dreams. It was an honor to coach at the University of Minnesota.  I am grateful to the tremendous young women in this program who made coaching each day such a wonderful experience.  I know the program has a great future."

According to Maturi, Denney Wright will stay on in a temporary capacity while a national search is conducted to find her replacement.

In her eight years at Minnesota, Denney Wright compiled an overall record of 91-60-14, including a superlative run over the last four years that saw the Gophers win more than 70 percent of their games (53-19-8). Denney Wright also guided Minnesota to the 2008 Big Ten championship as well as a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 2008 and 2010.

"Mikki did an outstanding job leading our women's soccer program," Maturi said. "I am deeply saddened to see her go, but I understand and respect her decision. She was a championship coach during her time with the Gophers and led our program to new heights. Just as important, though, is the positive impact she had on the lives of the many young women who played for her at the University of Minnesota. I wish her nothing but the best in the future."

Credited with rebuilding a Gopher soccer program that fell on hard times in the early 2000s, Denney Wright instilled a culture where young women could develop into strong, responsible leaders. As a result, her student-athletes thrived both on and off the field, with 14 earning All-Big Ten accolades and nine receiving Big Ten All-Freshman team honors, including 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Taylor Uhl. On a national level, she produced two 2008 All-Americans in Jennie Clark and Kelsey Hood, as well as a pair of freshman All-Americans in Tamara Strahota (2008) and Uhl (2011).

The Gopher soccer program was also lauded for their efforts in the classroom during Denney Wright's tenure. Minnesota earned consecutive APR special recognition awards from the NCAA in 2010 and 2011 for posting perfect scores of 1000. Additionally, Gophers became regular members of conference and regional academic teams, with 79 earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and a further eight picking up CoSIDA Academic All-District accolades.

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