Prior to being hired as the women’s basketball head coach, Dawn Plitzuweit didn’t have many personal ties to West Virginia.
One tie she did have is a familiarity with former West Virginia men’s hoops head coach, John Beilein.
Plitzuweit and Beilein shared the Michigan basketball facilities for five years, from 2007-2012. Both coaches arrived in Ann Arbor simultaneously – Beilein after a successful stint with West Virginia, and Plitzuweit after a five-year run in charge of Grand Valley State.
“I had a chance to really watch him at practice, watch his style,” Plitzuweit said Monday. “I do think there are a lot of similarities in terms of how we break things down, and how we teach and how we try to simplify things.”
In addition to those takeaways, “terminology” is another thing she gathered from her time around the former Mountaineer men’s basketball head coach. While Plitzuweit doesn’t use the exact same terms and phrases that Beilein did, she and her staff do bring similar ideas to their programs now.
“I’m thinking, what are you talking about? But his guys knew exactly what he meant,” said Plitzuweit, recounting one of Beilein’s Michigan practices she saw. “It was very simplified for his players. So, we try to do that to the best of our abilities so they can understand.”
Like many coaches, Plitzuweit hopes to keep things simple in her first year with West Virginia. That’s another thing she learned from Beilein.
The first-year Mountaineer head coach is doing several new things with her first WVU team, including watching film during practice, which is far from the norm.
Plitzuweit’s first game in charge of West Virginia comes on Sunday, October 30, with an exhibition against Fairmont State. Her first regular-season contest is 11 days later when the Mountaineers host USC Upstate at the WVU Coliseum on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.