Mikki Denney Wright named Gopher soccer coach

Mikki Denney Wright has been named the Gopher women's soccer head coach. Denney Wright, a native of Omaha, was a three-year letterwinner at Minnesota (1994-96). Denney Wright spent the last three years as Missouri's top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament and earned the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Eastern Illinois last season. Denney Wright also served as the Missouri State Olympic Development Program head coach.

"We are very excited to welcome Mikki Denney Wright back to the University of Minnesota," Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi said. "Having been a student-athlete here, she experienced firsthand the level of success that we now expect from the program in the future."

"I am very excited about the opportunity to be back at Minnesota," Denney Wright said. "The state of the Minnesota, the University, and the Minnesota Athletics program offer all the ingredients to build a great soccer tradition."

Prior to moving to Missouri, Denney Wright was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks claimed the North Central Conference Championship during her one year in Omaha.

Denney Wright began her coaching career as head coach of the Colorado Rush Soccer Club's Under-16 Team from June, 1998 to June, 2000.

During her collegiate playing days, Denney Wright served as team captain of the Golden Gophers in 1995 and '96 as Minnesota earned a Big Ten Championship and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Denney Wright was a two-time second-team All-Big Ten selection, as well as an All-Central Region second-team honoree in 1996. She still holds the school record for consecutive starts at 63.

She started every game in her three-year career as a Golden Gopher, received all-conference honors twice and was an all-Midwest Great Lakes Region team selection. Denney Wright earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Minnesota in 1997, where she also became a certified drug and alcohol counselor. In 1999, she earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Denver. An accomplished student, Denney Wright completed a Spanish language degree from the University of Granada in Granada, Spain in May 2000. Adding to her coaching career, Denney Wright has served as a camp counselor at the University of Nebraska, Creighton and Northwestern soccer camps. She also coached for the Colorado Rush Soccer Club in Denver, Colo. She owns an NSCAA advanced national diploma to her credits. Denney Wright is the daughter of current Nebraska-Omaha head wrestling coach Mike Denney and wife Bonnie. She is married to Shane Wright.

Denney Wright transferred to Minnesota after spending two seasons at the University of North Carolina. After a redshirt in 1992 due to a stress fracture, she appeared in 10 matches in 1993, with one start, as the Tar Heels won their second-straight NCAA Championship.

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