Rilee Dawson stepping down as CSS softball coach after 20 years with Saints

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On Tuesday the College of St. Scholastica (CSS) announced that Rilee Dawson is stepping down as head coach of the softball team to pursue other opportunities.

Dawson has been a part of the Saints softball program for over 20 years first as a player, then as an assistant coach for eight seasons, and lastly as head coach. She took over that role in 2015 for longtime coach Jen Walter, who departed to lead the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) softball program.

In her first six seasons as head coach Dawson led the Saints to four Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) regular season titles and one NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 2017. She has coached four UMAC Players of the Year including Olivia Howe (2021) who was named the fourth All-American in program history.

Dawson earned UMAC Coach of the Year distinctions in 2016 and 2021.

Dawson also shined as a player for Scholastica, earning UMAC Player of the Year in 2007, and becoming the third softball player to be inducted into the St. Scholastica Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

A national search for her replacement will begin immediately.