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New Ole Miss Softball Hire Adds Assistant Coach from Minnesota

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss softball coach Jamie Trachsel announced the first edition to her coaching staff on Friday. Assistant coach Katie Rietkovich Browder, who worked alongside Trachsel in Minnesota, will be joining her in Oxford.

Rietkovich Browder is headed back to Oxford for her second stint with the Rebels after spending three seasons (2016-18) as an assistant coach under head coach Mike Smith. In the last two seasons, she has worked alongside Trachsel at the University of Minnesota.

“It is with great pride that we announce Katie Rietkovich Browder as part of our softball staff and family,” said Trachsel. “Her tireless work ethic, knowledge and passion for the game as well as her fearless mindset and commitment to developing student-athletes into strong, confident young women makes her a perfect fit for our staff. She will be a key piece as we build a championship-caliber culture and softball program here in Oxford. I welcome her and her family to our Rebel family and am excited to begin our journey together at Ole Miss.”

Rietkovich Browder will primarily be tasked with leading the Rebel offense as the teams hitting coach, the same role she served for the Golden Gophers.

“First and foremost, I want to thank Jamie for the opportunity to return to Ole Miss,” said Rietkovich Browder. “This town and this program hold a special place in my heart and I could not be more thrilled to be back. The passion and support around this program is special and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m excited to get to work and compete for more championships here in Oxford. Hotty Toddy!”

Rietkovich Browder helped the Rebels offense establish a standard for the slap-style of hitting, as she worked with Kylan Becker, Elantra Cox and Paige McKinney. In the 2017 historic season, more than a quarter of the Rebels’ hits never left the infield.

Following the 2018 season, Rietkovich Browder was hired by Trachsel as an assistant coach at Minnesota, immediately making an impact and helping the Gophers to a magical run to the Women’s College World Series in her first season. In recognition of their success, Rietkovich Browder and the rest of the Minnesota coaches were named the 2019 NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Rietkovich Browder’s Minnesota offense left their mark in the Golden Gopher record book during her lone complete season in Minneapolis, ranking second all-time in home runs (72), third in walks (225), fifth in doubles (87) and fifth in slugging percentage (.496).

Rietkovich Browder’s most impressive work may have been the job she did coaching freshman Natalie DenHartog. After not beginning the year as a starter, DenHartog led the Gophers in slugging percentage (.780) and RBIs (64) and was second on the team in batting average (.373) and home runs (17). DenHartog was named a top-3 finalist for the NFCA Freshman of the Year award. The slugger went on to lead the Gophers in virtually every category in the shortened 2020 season and earned Softball America Shortened Season All-American honors.

Rietkovich Browder got her start in coaching at Savannah State, where she served for one year under head coach Jose Gonzalez as an assistant.

Rietkovich Browder made a few stops during her playing career, starting at Georgia under head coach Lu Harris-Champer, where she was a part of the Bulldogs’ third-place finish at the 2010 Women’s College World Series. After her stint at Georgia, she played at the NAIA level at both South Carolina-Beaufort and Reinhardt University. In addition to her WCWS trip, she was a part of trips to two NCAA Regionals, two NCAA Super Regionals and an NAIA postseason run.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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