SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — When the calendar rolls around in March, South Dakota’s small town pride is evident on the basketball court.
That kind of pride stayed deep in Luke Bamberg and Ty Hoglund, two high school and Dakota Wesleyan University alumni. Bamberg and Hoglund will be on the sidelines when the men’s basketball season begins, serving as head coaches for the schools they graduated from.
Bamberg, who graduated from Corsica High School in 2011, will be the next head coach of the Corsica-Stickney Jaguars, succeeding longtime head coach Mike Tuschen.
“There is a sense of pride that you have in your city. That’s why I also went back to my hometown,” Bamberg told KELOLAND News. “It has a bit of a special meaning.”
Bamberg was an assistant for two years with Tuschen and said he plans to one day become a head coach. As a player, he was part of the first two seasons of the Corse-Stickney cooperative.
“It was something I wanted to try. It’s always been kind of a passion for me,” Bamberg said. “Helping children meet their expectations, grow and develop.”
Hoglund, a 2016 Dell Rapids graduate, was named the new head coach of the Dell Rapids men’s basketball team six years after playing for the Quarriers. Like Bamberg, Hoglund said the opportunity to take over was too good to pass up.
“There will always be a special place in my heart for Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids basketball,” Hoglund said. “I graduated from college in May 2020 and since then there has been a void in sports and athletics and in a team.”
Hoglund said he will still continue to play sports, but training will keep him more invested.
“I just think it’s in my blood to be around this for the rest of my life,” said Hoglund, whose father, Mick, also coached basketball for many years, including at Dell Rapids.
Both coaches are not currently working as teachers. Bamberg works for the Corse and Platte branches of Bank of the West, while Hoglund works as a financial adviser.
The Tigers become coaches
Along with becoming head coaches in their respective hometowns, Bamberg and Hoglund joined a growing list of former DWU players who became high school basketball coaches.
Joey Mitchell and Stephen Lee were teammates with Bamberg on the 2014-15 DWU squad that won a school-record 32 games and finished second in NAIA Division II.
Mitchell is the head coach of men’s basketball at Wessington Springs, while Lee is the head coach of Irene-Wakonda.
“Dakota Wesleyan just has this small campus, small-town feel and vibe,” Bamberg said. “The basketball atmosphere is second to none at the NAIA level and that makes basketball a very special place and we’re trying to bring that back to the small towns.”
Other DWU players from the past 10 years have coached or served as assistants. Trae Bergh worked as an assistant at Dakota Valley, while Jalen Voss worked as a varsity assistant coach at Minnesota Morris. Jacob Hinker, a teammate of Hoglund at DWU, works as an assistant coach at Lennox.
Both Bamberg and Hoglund highlighted DWU head coach Matt Wilber’s coaching style as impactful and inspiring for them to become coaches themselves.
“His passion for the game was unmatched,” Hoglund said of Wilber. “I just think that kind of stuff just kind of flowed through us and we were totally invested in him and Dakota Wesleyan’s basketball. And then once it all stops, you miss it. Coaching is a great way to get back to it.