UMD softball: Walter leaving Bulldogs for job at St. Thomas

Minnesota Duluth softball coach Jen Walter has stepped down to take an assistant coaching job on the staff at St. Thomas, which is making the jump to Division I in 2021-22.

(Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune) Minnesota Duluth head coach Jen Walter talks to baserunner Natalie Wright at third base during the first game of a March 2016 doubleheader against Minnesota State-Moorhead at Malosky Stadium in Duluth. Walter has stepped down as Bulldogs coach to join the staff at St. Thomas.

Minnesota Duluth softball coach Jen Walter has resigned as coach of the Bulldogs to become an assistant coach at St. Thomas, which is making the jump to NCAA Division I in 2021-22.

Walter has coached the Bulldogs since 2015, but her tenure on Duluth softball diamonds dates back 22 years to her time at St. Scholastica. She coached the Saints for 16 seasons (447-233) before coming to UMD, taking CSS to five NCAA Division III tournaments and an NAIA national tournament.

As coach of the Bulldogs, Walter posted a 186-98 record over six seasons. She took the program to three NCAA Division II tournaments and won a regional championship in 2018 when the Bulldogs finished 44-16 overall. Her 2019 UMD squad set a program record for NSIC wins by going 22-8 in league play.

"I came to Duluth in 1999 thinking I would be up here for five years, now 22 years later I find myself heading back down to the Cities for a job that was just too exciting to pass up," Walter said. "My time in Duluth has been remarkable. I've loved Duluth and I've loved my job."

A national search is underway at UMD for Walter's replacement.

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