Olympic Sports

Iowa State hires new softball coach

The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications. 

AMES, Iowa – Jamie Trachsel (pronounced TRAX-el) – who was instrumental in building a championship program with nearly annual participation in NCAA Regional play at North Dakota State in recent years – has been named the head softball coach at Iowa State University.

Trachsel has been a member of the Bison softball staff the past 14 seasons, including the last six as co-head coach with Darren Mueller.

In those half-dozen seasons, NDSU compiled a 221-109 overall record (.670), a 98-19 mark (.838) in the Summit League and advanced to NCAA Regional play five times. The Bison won their conference regular-season championship and the tournament championship five times each with Trachsel as co-head coach.

North Dakota State won at least 30 games – including a school-record 45 in 2015 when it climbed as high as 41st in the NCAA Percentage Ratings Index (RPI) – for 10 straight seasons. The Bison advanced to the NCAA Regionals seven of the last eight years. The 2009 club won the Norman (Okla.) Regional to advance to the NCAA Super Regional in Tempe (Ariz.).

Her tenure with NDSU began with two seasons (2002-04) as a graduate assistant, followed by three (2005-07) as an assistant coach, three (2008-10) as associate head coach and the last six (2011-16) as co-head coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jamie to our family at Iowa State,” Senior Associate AD and selection committee chair Dr. Calli Sanders said. “The winning teams she has been a part of speak for themselves, but we were equally impressed with the ever-increasing responsibilities she gained at NDSU over the years as well as her specific plans for building a championship culture at Iowa State with the expectation of advancing to post-season play. Her passion for the game and her enthusiasm and dedication to developing young women as students and athletes came through clearly to all of our committee members.”

Trachsel, one of the sport’s fast-rising head coaching prospects, has long been ready to run her own program and Iowa State was the perfect fit.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” Trachsel said. “I was impressed with every aspect of Iowa State University, including its campus, the athletic facilities, the support from the community, the staff, and especially the leadership. It was clear this is a place that’s committed to excellence, and offers the capability where success is possible and goals are attainable. I am excited about the resources and facilities here at Iowa State and look forward to the challenges that come with competing in a great conference. I am eager to meet my team and get started on our journey toward building a championship culture together.”

Her direct responsibilities at North Dakota State included team defense, recruiting and coordinating scouting. Trachsel has experience coaching catchers, infielders and outfielders and she called all pitches from the dugout for the Bison.

NDSU has led the Summit League and ranked 39th, 22nd and 21st nationally the last three seasons in fielding percentage. The Bison ranked eighth nationally in fielding percentage (.976) and were 12th in double plays in 2009.

In 2016, NDSU was 8-8 vs. Power 5 Conference teams and defeated then No. 2-ranked Alabama, 2-1, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Bison finished the season with a 39-15 record, went undefeated (17-0) in conference play and advanced to the NCAA Seattle Regional.

Individual accolades have been plentiful during Trachsel’s tenure. She coached four All-Americans, 19 All-Region players and 54 All-Summit League players at NDSU. Additionally, 11 student-athletes received conference Player, Pitcher or Freshman/Newcomer awards.

She has also been on coaching staffs that were honored seven times, including NFCA Division I Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year twice (2009 and 2015). Trachsel is well respected among peers and lectured at the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association convention on training drills for outfielders. She was featured in an ESPNW story for her tactical defensive skills.

Trachsel also helped transition the Bison program from Division II to Division I. After placing seventh and third at the Division II national championship in 2002 and 2003, North Dakota State moved up to the highest level in college softball. It didn’t take long for the school to establish itself as a national contender in their new classification.

Off the field, Trachsel has coordinated the volunteer hours/opportunities for the softball program in the community. She was instrumental in setting up a system of collecting toiletry items that are distributed to the women’s shelter and Churches United Homeless Shelter.

As a player at St. Cloud State (1998-2000), she led the Huskies to three straight NCAA Division II tournament appearances and one conference title. Trachsel made the 1999 NCAA Division II All-Region Tournament Team and received All-Academic honors from the NFCA twice. SCSU won 127 games during her career.

As a prep athlete, Trachsel earned 17 letters (softball 6, tennis 5, basketball 5 and soccer 1) at Duluth (Minn.) Central High School. She is also a nine-time national champion in racquetball (1988-93 and 2003-05).

Trachsel earned a B.S. degree in sports management (minors in coaching and human relations) from St. Cloud State in 2001. She added a Master of Education degree (in athletics administration) from North Dakota State in 2006.

The hiring is pending a background check by the university.


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