Plitzuweit, Nielson and Williamson renew coaching contracts
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Plitzuweit, Nielson and Williamson renew coaching contracts

A trio of head coaches will continue their tenure at USD through the 2025-2026 academic year.

Bob Nielson speaks after the announcement of his hiring in 2015. Malachi Petersen / The Volante

Head women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit, football coach Bob Nielson and volleyball coach Leanne Williamson each signed five-year contract extensions with USD, Athletic Director David Herbster announced Tuesday.

Plitzuweit’s contract will bump her annual salary from $214,700 in 2018 to $250,000, Nielson’s contract from $280,000 in 2018 to $295,000, and Williamson’s to $87,000.

“What I’m trying to do is stay ahead, because you’re now recruiting juniors,” Herbster told the Argus Leader Tuesday. “From a recruiting standpoint, it gives us a level playing field with what we’re dealing with with everybody else.”

Plitzuweit, in her third year, led the coyote women to a 28-6 finish in 2018-19, highlighting the year with USD’s first wins over ranked opponents (No. 23 Iowa State and No. 22 Missouri), entering the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history and winning a bid to the NCAA tournament in March, which ended in a 79-66 defeat against Clemson. She’ll enter her fourth year as head coach with a overall 80-22 record.

“Dawn has done an incredible job of continuing a legacy of outstanding women’s basketball here,” Herbster said. “I think what I’m most impressed with is…she’s coaching these individuals to be strong, assertive, confident women and as a byproduct of that comes an outstanding team.”

Nielson, also entering his fourth year as head coach, has accrued a 16-20 record at USD. His 2017 squad finished 8-5 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs. Last year’s team finished 4-7.

USD volleyball head coach Leanne Williamson poses with libero Anne Rasmussen on Sept. 28, 2018. Molly Schiermeyer | The Volante

Williamson enters her sixth year as head coach with a 97-56 record. Williamson’s 2018 team captured a Summit League Championship over first-seeded Denver on Nov. 18 and earned a bid to the NCAA tournament, falling to No. 9 Creighton in three sets.