SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the calendar hits March, South Dakota small town pride is evident on the basketball court. 

That type of pride has remained deeply instilled for Luke Bamberg and Ty Hoglund, two former high school and Dakota Wesleyan University basketball standouts. Both Bamberg and Hoglund will be on the sidelines when the boys basketball season starts, serving as head coaches for the schools they graduated from. 

Bamberg, a 2011 Corsica High School graduate, will be the next head coach for the Corsica-Stickney Jaguars taking over from longtime head coach Mike Tuschen. 

“There’s a sense of pride that you have in your town. That’s why I moved back to my hometown as well,” Bamberg told KELOLAND News. “It does have a little bit of a special meaning.” 

Bamberg served as an assistant for two years with Tuschen and said he had an eye on taking the head coach job someday. As a player, he was part of the first two seasons of the Corsica-Stickney co-op. 

“It was something that I wanted to give a shot. It always was kind of a strong passion of mine,” Bamberg said. “Helping kids try to get to their expectations, grow and develop.” 

Hoglund, who graduated from Dell Rapids in 2016, has been named the new head coach for the Dell Rapids boys 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 college in May of 2020 and since then, there’s been a void of sports and athletics and being on a team.”  

Hoglund said he was always going to continue to be around sports, but coaching would make him remain more invested. 

“I just think it’s in my blood to be around it for the rest of my life,” said Hoglund, who’s father, Mick, also coached basketball for many years including in Dell Rapids.    

Both coaches do not work as teachers currently. Bamberg works for the Corsica and Platte branches of Bank of the West, while Hoglund has been working as a financial advisor.

Tigers turned coaches 

Along with becoming head coaches in their respective hometowns, Bamberg and Hoglund have joined a growing list of former DWU players turned high school basketball coaches. 

Joey Mitchell and Stephen Lee were teammates with Bamberg on DWU’s 2014-15 team that won a school-record 32 games and finished runner-up in the NAIA Division II. 

Mitchell is the boys basketball head coach at Wessington Springs, while Lee is the head coach at Irene-Wakonda. 

“Dakota Wesleyan just has that small campus, a small town kind of atmosphere and vibe,” Bamberg said. “The basketball atmosphere is second to none at the NAIA level and it just makes basketball a very special place and we try to bring that back to the small towns.” 

Other DWU players from the past 10 years have coached or are serving as assistants. Trae Bergh has been working as an assistant at Dakota Valley, while Jalen Voss worked as a college assistant coach at Minnesota Morris. Jacob Hinker, a teammate of Hoglund at DWU, works as an assistant coach in Lennox. 

Both Bamberg and Hoglund pointed to 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 about Wilber. “I just think that kind of spread throughout us and we were totally invested in him and Dakota Wesleyan basketball. And then once all that stops, you miss it. Coaching is a great way to get back into it.”