Kayla Karius departing USD women to coach alma mater Green Bay

Apr. 22—VERMILLION, S.D. — South Dakota women's basketball coach Kayla Karius is leaving the Coyote job to become the head coach at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, the universities announced on Tuesday.

Karius, 35, has been the Coyotes coach for the last two seasons, including a 23-13 campaign in 2023-24. USD was 37-29 under Karius' leadership.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to my alma mater and honored to be only the fourth head coach of Green Bay women's basketball," Karius said in a Green Bay statement. "This is the premier women's basketball program in our state and is located in one of the most innovative and booming communities. I look forward to carrying on a strong tradition of championships on the court and excellence in the classroom."

A Sheboygan, Wisconsin, native, the former Kayla Tetschlag was a member of Green Bay's team that went to the Sweet 16 in 2011, and she was a former Horizon League player of the year. She will be formally be introduced on Thursday.

The Green Bay Press Gazette

first reported Karius' departure on Monday night.

The hire continues a triangle of connections between Phoenix retiring coach Kevin Borseth, former USD coach and current Minnesota coach Dawn Plitzuweit and Karius. Plitzuweit was mentored by Borseth, while Plitzuweit helped bring Karius' coaching career along as a USD assistant. Karius, a Phoenix legend, now will replace Borseth.

It will be the second time in three seasons USD has been in the market for a new head coach. Plitzuweit departed for West Virginia after USD's Sweet 16 season in 2022, opening the door for Karius.

"We appreciate coach Karius for her two years of leadership for Coyote women's basketball," said USD athletic director Jon Schemmel in a news release. "We wish her and her family the best as she goes back to her alma mater and to be close to home. I believe USD is one of the best mid-major jobs in the country and we will launch a national search immediately to find a candidate who believes that as well."

It will also be the first major coaching hire for Schemmel, who took over the USD athletic director job in January.

Karius' most recent salary was $255,120, according to the state of South Dakota's employee salary database. She previously worked at Wisconsin and Drake over four seasons in addition to her time at USD.

Green Bay's athletic director is Josh Moon, who previously held the same job at Northern State in Aberdeen. With Karius, Moon is poised to fill both basketball coaching jobs for the Phoenix with South Dakota connections after hiring former Northern State assistant Sundance Wicks to lead the men's program in 2023.