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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 03 2010

Bison softball: Mueller interviews with UofM

One of the most successful coaches in North Dakota State athletics history may be on the move. Head softball coach Darren Mueller interviewed at the University of Minnesota this week and is one of four finalists for the position.

Mueller interviewed Wednesday and Thursday in Minneapolis and he said Friday a decision is expected next week.

“I thought it went well but it’s hard to judge,” he said. “I thought I would throw my name in there and see what happens.”

Mueller led the Bison to the NCAA Division I Super Regional in 2009 and took one of the most successful programs in Division II to one of the best mid-major Division I teams in the country. The Bison defended their Summit League title this spring, but were ousted in the Seattle Regional after two games.

“We have a lot of great things going here, but I also wanted to see what’s out there,” he said.

The Gophers are looking to replace co-head coaches Lisa Bernstein and Julie Standering, whose contracts were not renewed after a 16-37 season – 2-17 in the Big Ten Conference. It’s not certain who the other three finalists are.

Mueller, a Fargo native, said the fact Minnesota is closer to home “is something that caught my attention.” He is a 1994 NDSU graduate and obtained his master’s degree from the school two years later.

He has a record of 321-173 in nine seasons at NDSU. He just finished his 16th year overall having spent the first seven as an assistant to Mitch Hanson.

Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia.