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UJ’s Wieck lands top assistant job at MSUM

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sports Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

JAMESTOWN — Justin Wieck wasn’t looking to leave, but an opportunity came up that was too good to pass up.

Wieck has resigned as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Jamestown to become the top assistant at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Wieck and MSUM head coach Chad Walthall have a long relationship, dating back to their days together at the University of Iowa.

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“I didn’t apply for anything. I wasn’t looking to go. My wife and I have really enjoyed our time here,” Wieck said. “It was a very tough decision, but one I felt I needed to make.”

Wieck had been the head coach of the Jimmies the past two seasons, leading them to the national tournament in his first season and then guiding the team to the North Star Athletic Association regular season and tournament titles this past year. The program did have to forfeit seven games of the 2012-13 season after learning it had used an ineligible player after the season.

Wieck had replaced Matt Murken, who took the head job at Minot State, which like MSUM is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, generally considered the top league in NCAA Division II.

“Coach Walthall has done a great job there,” Wieck said. “He’s a great coach. We have a history together. He’s someone that does things the right way.”

This situation is similar to that of when Jeff Trumbauer left then Jamestown College to become the lead assistant at Augustana, another NSIC power. Trumbauer wasn’t looking to leave the Jimmies, but got an offer to become Tom Billeter’s top assistant with the understanding that a promotion to the top job could eventually happen.

“Obviously we have to keep winning and building what’s already been done,” Wieck said of any chances of ascending to the top job.

Wieck had been an assistant at Northern State prior to coming to Jamestown. This was his first head coaching position.

“Lawrie (Paulson) took a chance on me two years ago and I’ll always be thankful for that. The last two years have been really enjoyable professionally and just living here in this community,” Wieck said. “I’m definitely going to miss it. I’ll be the Jimmies’ biggest fan 90 miles to the east.”

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