SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—South Dakota women’s basketball head coach Dawn Plitzuweit announced Monday that Oakland assistant Ariel Braker will be joining the Coyote women’s basketball program as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. She joins Jason Jeschke, Aaron Horn and Alex Antonen on the Coyote bench for the 2021-22 season.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ariel Braker to our Coyote family!” said Plitzuweit. “Ariel is a brilliant young coach who is great at connecting and building relationships. She will be phenomenal at mentoring our young ladies and that is so exciting for us. One of the things that really stands out about Ariel is that she is a winner! She played and won at the highest level during her time at Notre Dame as she won three conference championships, played in four Final Fours and three National Championship games! After playing, she began coaching and has coached at several different levels already, so she understands how to continue to help us grow here at USD.
“Ariel is truly a rising star in the coaching profession, and we are just so happy that she will be joining us in Vermillion!”
Braker’s coaching career includes stints at Oakland (DI), Lehigh (DI), Western Texas (NJCAA), Grosse Point North (HS) and Wayne State University (DII). She has experience with player development of post players, recruiting, scouting, game strategy, scheduling and mentoring student-athletes.
“First, I would like to thank Coach Jeff Tungate and Oakland University for the opportunity to grow and develop as a coach,” said Braker. “I am excited for my next journey with the South Dakota women’s basketball program. This is a great team and an amazing opportunity to learn from a great coach who I have always respected and admired.
“I am very thankful for the chance to get to work with Coach Plitzuweit and staff, and even more eager to get to know the community of Vermillion! Go Yotes!”
Braker was a two-year starter and tri-captain in her four-year career at Notre Dame under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw. She was a member of the winningest class in program history, with a 138-15 overall record, four Final Four berths and three National Championship appearances.
A native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, Braker graduated from Notre Dame in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in industrial design. She earned her master’s degree in sports administration from Wayne State (Mich.) in 2015.