Dickinson State University did not have to go long without a baseball program.
Mike Dahl was hired by Dickinson State this week to restart the program. He was previously the head coach at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
The school had to make budget cuts in 2017, and baseball was ultimately eliminated, though it wouldn’t go into effect until the following year. The Blue Hawks team would play the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but this spring in 2019 they did not field a team.
This past May the athletic department announced that baseball was being added back in the mix along with junior varsity teams in volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and co-ed varsity esports.
In their last year of play in 2018, Dickinson State finished with a record of 3-30.
“We think he is a great fit. He is experienced and passionate,” said Dickinson State Athletic Director and Football Coach Pete Stanton. “He understands the dynamics of Dickinson and the North Star Athletic Association.”
Dahl will spend the next year recruiting players to bring to campus. The Blue Hawks will not field a team next spring in 2020, but instead the return will commence in the spring of 2021. They will need to sign 25-30 players in the next year. Dahl wants to establish a winning culture right off the bat, before the team even steps foot on the field.
“It is a great opportunity,” said Dahl in a phone interview. “It will be a challenge to rebuild the program, but it is an exciting challenge. When I visited up there, there was a lot of support, and it seemed like the community wanted baseball to come back. I think the sky’s the limit for us.”
Dahl led Presentation College for two years as their head coach after taking over in the fall of 2017. In 2018, his first season at the helm, he led them to their best win total ever with 26. That same year, he led the Saints to their first ever appearance in the North Star Athletic Association championship game after they upset top seeded Mayville State. Multiple players on Dahl’s roster set school and personal records. He was named North Star Athletic Association coach of the year for the job he did in 2018.
“We want to be competitive and be a program that is going to do well,” Stanton said, “and we think Coach Dahl can do that. He has a proven track record.”