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Almost exactly 21 years ago, Brenda Frese (then Oldfield) shocked the Gophers women's basketball program.

After engineering a massive turnaround and taking the Gophers to the second round of the NCAA tournament in her one season following the messy Cheryl Littlejohn era, Frese decided to uproot and take the head job at Maryland.

It was an awkward transition, to say the least, with Frese even disagreeing with then-women's AD Chris Voelz's characterization of why she left. "I don't really think that it's in my best interests for me to go into why I left Minnesota," Frese said at the time. "I've moved on in a different direction and am just looking forward to the opportunity that I have here with Maryland."

And it left impressionable young players to wonder about the notion of loyalty.

"We're finding out the hard way," star player Lindsay Whalen said at the time, "that there's not much."

The blow was softened somewhat when Pam Borton was eventually hired and guided the Gophers to three straight Sweet 16s, including a Final Four in 2004.

But since then, the program has had at least as many valleys as peaks, while Oldfield built Maryland into a perennial NCAA tournament contender (and a national champion in 2006).

Fast-forward to 2023, as I noted during Tuesday's Daily Delivery podcast, and the Gophers can only hope that what once happened to them is now happening for them.

When Whalen's tenure as Gophers coach came to a sudden end a few weeks ago — Whalen, by the way, might still be wondering about the idea of loyalty — AD Mark Coyle helped launch a search that led him to Dawn Plitzuweit.

As Coyle had once done himself — leaving Syracuse after just one year there as AD to take the Gophers job in 2016 — he set out to convince Plitzuweit that leaving after one year at West Virginia to take the Gophers job would be a difficult but correct choice.

And it worked, even if the optics of her departure weren't great and left a lot of West Virginia players and fans feeling jilted (or worse, if you scroll through enough social media comments) just as the Gophers were 21 years ago.

"It was really challenging for me, for our family, to make that decision," Plitzuweit said at her introductory news conference Monday, noting that coaching changes were hard on both the Gophers and West Virginia players.

What evidence is there, then, that Plitzuweit won't leave the U for a better opportunity sooner rather than later?

Well, one does get the sense that she sees this job as a destination given the status of the Big Ten and the women's basketball talent the state has been producing.

Plitzuweit, a Wisconsin native who had major success as the head coach at South Dakota before her one year at West Virginia, is a Midwesterner.

And let's not forget that Frese, after making the leap to Maryland, has stayed there for two-plus decades.

If Plitzuweit proves to be the anti-Frese — the coach that leapt at the opportunity to come here instead of the chance to leave — the Gophers will be in very good shape.

Maybe 21 years will heal old wounds.