(When Coaches Speak is a series of articles where active coaches will give their thoughts on their own teams, as well as current happenings in the game and offer thoughts on their peers, always in their own words.)
When Jamie Trachsel left the cold of Fargo, North Dakota for the still-nearly-as-chilly Ames, Iowa this offseason, it provided a proverbial shot of adrenaline for the Cyclones. A program that has been in the Big 12's cellar for several years, even at times considered more of just an "easy win" in conference play than a real competitor, Trachsel's hiring inspired some to predict a growing state of relevancy for the Cyclones, beginning post-haste.
Having served as co-head coach at North Dakota State for six seasons, the latter portion of a fourteen-year tenure on the Bison staff, Trachsel had more than a couple of opportunities to leave the Bison in previous years. None of the "fits" seemed right, though, until Iowa State came calling this offseason.
"If I was going to leave, it had to be something I couldn't turn down," Trachsel says. "I was never looking to leave (NDSU). I didn't know much about Iowa State, but after learning about it, my reaction was something like, 'Man, we could build something here'."
Despite having served with “head coach” in her title for more than half of a decade, Trachsel’s first few months as a solo leader have been full of many new things, many changes – and far less sleep: “There are a lot less full nights of sleep; you think more when it’s all on you,” she says. “Lots of things to delegate and balance that out. I work harder, I work longer. But our goal is to get better, teach kids, and bring about harder workers.”
One of Trachsel’s biggest successes already has been acquiring two veteran coaches to fill out her staff – she hired Randy Schneider away from Wisconsin and brought pitching coach Brynne Dordel with her from North Dakota State. “It’s a great staff that is like-minded and capable of building a top-20 program,” Trachsel said. “We are a teaching staff who believes in doing things the right way. Between every member of our staff, I believe we have a strength in every area of our program needed to be successful.”
“Greatness is unwavering,” Trachsel said. “You can’t cheat the work… if you want to be a champion, you have to be willing to pay the price.”
The Cyclones will kick off their season on February 10th against Louisiana-Lafayette in a tournament that will also see them face DePaul; Southern Miss; and Ball State.