About Natalie: “Natalie Darwitz, arguably the most well-known name in Minnesota women’s hockey history, was named head coach of the Hamline women’s hockey team before the 2015-16 season. Since then, she has helped the Pipers reach the Frozen Four in 2018 and the NCAA Championship game in 2019.
During the 2019 season, HU set a school record for wins 23 and advanced to the NCAA D-III Championship game for the first time in school history. The Pipers also played a NCAA playoff game at their home arena, TRIA Rink, defeating UW-River Falls, 5-1, before a capacity crowd.
Darwitz has coached a Laura Hurd Award-winner in Bre Simon, an honor that recognizes the nation’s top D-III puckster and also had an athlete earn an Elite 90 award, as Madison Kolbow had the highest GPA among all Frozen Four competitors in 2019.
Darwitz’s first year behind the bench with the Pipers saw the team finish with a 9-13-3 record. It was the most wins by a HU contingent in nearly a decade. In addition to the wins, HU finished strong with a tie against perennial power Gustavus Adolphus on the final day of the season. It marked the first time ever the Pipers had snared a point from the Gusties and knocked them out of the playoffs in the process.
Things went even better in her second season. The Pipers 10-8 in MIAC play, finishing in fifth place, qualifying for the MIAC playoffs for the first time in a decade. HU went 12-13-1 overall, the second best output in school history. In her third season, the Pipers made the NCAA tournament for the first time, finishing third after a dramatic last second win over Plattsburgh State.
In 2017 Darwitz was named MIAC Coach of the Year and she has coached three All-Americans during her time as head of the program.
The Eagan, Minn. native has been part of the Minnesota hockey scene for nearly two decades. She first burst into the public eye as a seventh grader skating for Eagan High School. The Wildcats advanced to the state championship game that year. By the time she was done with her prep career, she had amassed a remarkable 487 points in 102 career games.
She was a three-time All-American at the University of Minnesota where she was a part of two national title teams. She is the school’s all-time leader in points per game (2.48), ranks second in assists (102) and third in points scored with 246. She also has had considerable success on the world stage, representing the United States in three Olympics, eight World Tournaments and ten 4 Nations Cup events. She has been a captain of several of those teams, a member of five gold-medal winning teams, and was named 2005 Woman Player of the Year by USA Hockey.
In October 2019, Darwitz was inducted into the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame and in 2018 she was named to the class entering the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
She entered the coaching world as an assistant to her father Scott at her prep alma mater. She went on to be an assistant at the University of Minnesota for two seasons before taking the head job at Lakeville South. The Cougars went 79-25-10 under her guidance, including a 24-6-1 record and a berth in the MSHSL Class AA Girls’ Hockey tournament in 2015.
Natalie resides in Prior Lake with her husband, Chris, sons Joseph and Zachary, and their dog Oakley. ” – Hamline University About Natalie Staff Page