By Louie St. George on Feb 9, 2015 at 5:57 p.m.
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Minnesota Duluth on Monday announced that Jen Banford has rejected the school’s contract offer to continue as head softball coach.
Banford will coach the Bulldogs this season, her 10th at the helm, before her current contract expires June 15.
Banford was part of the shakeup in December in which UMD announced it would not retain head women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller beyond this season. On Dec. 11, Banford received a letter from the university that read: “Your appointment as Director of Hockey Operations/Head Softball Coach … will end on June 14, 2015.”
UMD athletic director Josh Berlo ultimately said he wanted Banford to stay as softball coach and that the university was in the process of restructuring her contract.
“She was only notified relative to the position of women’s hockey,” Berlo told ESPNW.
Banford had said multiple UMD administrators told her in mid-January that the 2015 softball season would be her last.
“We are sorry coach Banford has not accepted an appointment to continue coaching UMD softball,” Berlo said in a news release Monday. “She leaves UMD softball with a strong foundation. We appreciate coach Banford’s contributions to UMD athletics over the past nine years.”
UMD will conduct a search for Banford’s replacement in the summer, according to the release.
In nine seasons guiding the Bulldogs, Banford is 273-174 (.611 winning percentage). She has led UMD to four NCAA Division II Central Regional berths and one NSIC regular-season title. The conference championship came in 2013 when the Bulldogs won 41 games, second-most in program history. Banford was the NSIC coach of the year that spring.