Assistant Springer leaving DSU to become head coach at DoaneOpportunity knocked and Tyson Springer answered.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Opportunity knocked and Tyson Springer answered.
Dickinson State’s assistant wrestling coach will leave the team at the end of next week. He has been hired as the head coach of the newly formed wrestling program at Doane College in Crete, Neb.
“I like being an assistant coach, but I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” Springer said. “The opportunity came open and I applied for it. I got lucky enough and got the job.”
The Monroe, Wash., native has been an assistant coach under DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell since 2009 while also working as an enrollment counselor in the university’s Office of Enrollment Services & Communications.
Springer, 30, wrestled two seasons for the Blue Hawks and won the 2005 NAIA national championship at 165 pounds while finishing as national runner-up in 2006. He helped North Idaho College to back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association national titles in 2003 and 2004 before coming to DSU.
His first day at Doane is Feb. 1. With state tournaments approaching, he said the school wants him to get started recruiting immediately for the 2013-14 season.
“It’s one of those things that’s bittersweet, as far as that it’s a great thing for him, it’s a great opportunity and this is the way it is supposed to happen,” O’Donnell said. “He’s been here, he’s ready, he’s in the right spot. On the same token, having him around, being a part of our program — he’s been through our program — he is someone that has been very important to us.”
Springer said Doane’s location, tradition in other athletic programs, as well as its inclusion into the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the NAIA North Group were the biggest selling points.
While Crete has a population of around 7,000, it is located 25 miles southwest of Lincoln, Neb., and isn’t far from other wrestling recruiting hotbeds as Kansas, Iowa and southeastern South Dakota.
“You couldn’t be in a better spot,” Springer said.
O’Donnell said Springer has been a great addition to the program since his arrival, not only as a coach but as the team’s lead recruiter.
He added that Springer already has the respect of other coaches he’ll be facing at Doane.
“All the coaches know him, they know how he handles himself, they know his morality,” O’Donnell said. “He just does a great job of doing the right thing, coaching right and being positive.”
As he prepares to depart DSU, Springer said he owes much thanks to O’Donnell.
“You never want to leave halfway through a season, but there’s never a great time to leave either,” Springer said. “It’s either recruiting season or middle of the season. I’ve got to go and start my own thing. I’m sure I’ll be calling Thadd quite a bit. He’s been a great friend, mentor and coach. It’s going to be hard to leave.”