USD coach Kayla Karius leaving Coyotes to take over Green Bay – Sioux Falls Live

USD coach Kayla Karius leaving Coyotes to take over Green Bay – Sioux Falls Live
USD coach Kayla Karius leaving Coyotes to take over Green Bay – Sioux Falls Live

VERMILLION — The USD Coyotes are in need of a women’s basketball coach again.

After two seasons at the helm, Kayla Karius told her team Monday night she’s leaving to become the head coach at Green Bay, her alma mater. She replaces Kevin Borseth, who retired after this season.

In two seasons at USD, Karius went 37-29, including 23-13 this last year. She took over for Dawn Plitzuweit, who led the Coyotes to the Sweet 16 before becoming the head coach of West Virginia for one year and then from there moving to Minnesota.

USD was Karius’ first head coaching job. She had been an assistant at Wisconsin and Drake prior to that, after starting her career on the USD staff under Plitzuweit.

Karius was a standout player for the Phoenix, taking them to three NCAA tournaments, earning two all-conference selections and playing a major role on their Sweet 16 team of 2011. He later played pro ball in Europe.

While the move to the Horizon League is probably lateral at best, the move makes sense. Replacing the wildly successful Plitzuweit was a tall task, and rival South Dakota State shows no signs of loosening its grip on the Summit League. Not to mention, the Coyotes are now under the leadership of a new athletic director, Jon Schemmel, and that can always put pressure on coaches who were hired by someone else.

The Coyotes have a credible candidate for a replacement already in house in assistant Mike Jewett, who served as acting coach for part of this season while Karius was on maternity leave, and he was a longtime assistant at SDSU and Augustana prior to that, as well as the head coach of Division II Southwest Minnesota State.

Another candidate that makes sense is MSU-Mankato coach Emilee Thiesse, who just led the Mavericks to the Division II national championship. Thiesse is a Spearfish native who got her master’s degree at SDSU, served as an assistant coach there, and is the sister of Amy Williams, the Nebraska coach who took USD to her first NCAA tournament during her stint in Vermillion.

Matt Zimmer is a Sioux Falls native and longtime sports writer. He graduated from Washington High School where he played football, legion baseball and developed his lifelong love of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, he returned to Sioux Falls, and began a long career in amateur baseball and sports reporting. Email Matt at [email protected].

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