Blue Hawks tap Wetzel for men's basketball

Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Dickinson State University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Daniel is pleased to announce Justin Wetzel has been named the head men's basketball coach.

"Along with experience at all levels, Justin brings great enthusiasm to Dickinson State and the athletic department," Daniel said. "He is a proven recruiter within Dickinson State's established footprint and he will open us up to new recruiting opportunities. Justin has a variety of experience in the fundraising arena and will be an invaluable asset to the Blue Hawk Booster Club in his position of Coordinator of Annual Giving. Justin is not only an excellent coach, recruiter, and resource; he is a fantastic person. Justin will be a great fit within the athletic department, Dickinson State, and the Dickinson State community."

Wetzel has over 10 years of coaching experience, ranging from high school to the professional level. His last position was at Montana State University where he was an assistant coach. He served at Montana State University-Billings from 2008-2013 in two separate roles. From 2008-2010, Wetzel was the top assistant at MSU-B. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach in 2011 and remained in the position until 2013. During his time at MSU-B, Wetzel helped guide the Yellowjackets to new heights. The Yellowjackets recorded 18 wins during the 2011-12 season, setting a MSU-B single season record and netting the Yellowjackets their first conference title. The 2011-12 season also saw the first NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance for the Yellowjackets since 2002. In 2008 Wetzel served as the head coach of the Butte Daredevils in the Continental Basketball Association. He took over mid-season and, at the time of his hiring, was the youngest person to be named a head coach in professional basketball.

With his appointment to the head coaching position at Dickinson State, Wetzel becomes the youngest person ever to have served as a head coach at the high school, college, and professional levels.

"I've been lucky to have experience at the high school, Division I and II, and professional level," Wetzel said. "You always try to take something with you from each level and learn from the guys you work with and the players you coach."

Wetzel was a key instrument in helping revitalize both the Daredevils and the Yellowjackets. "I know one thing is true at every level I have been at, you have to surround yourself with good people. Set a standard for yourself and your team, then hold yourself to that standard. We will be a tough, fundamental team. We will be a tough, disciplined team. We will do drills and have standards that I have had with high school kids and ones I have had with players in and out of the NBA," said Wetzel.

Dickinson State will transition to the North Star Athletic Association for the 2014-15 season. The Blue Hawks split four games with North Star opponents this past season.

"The North Star is challenging, there is a lot of rich history and tradition within those schools," Wetzel said. "I am excited to be here and happy to get going. I am grateful for the opportunity that Tim and Dr. Coston have given me."

For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Caleb Dunlop, sports marketing and information director, at (701) 483-2159 or caleb.dunlop@dickinsonstate.edu.