DSU coach accepts Division II assistant job, Blue Hawks search for replacement

Dickinson State basketball coach Josh Vauhan is moving on to be an assistant coach at Northern State. (File Image / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson State University head men’s basketball coach Josh Vaughan announced his resignation from the position on Monday morning.

Vaughan will join his former coach in Saul Phillips at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

The Blue Hawks were 40-43 overall in Vaughan’s three seasons as head coach finishing runner-up in the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament in 2017-18, and they finished second in the regular season in the NSAA in 2018-2019.

Before his first season, Vaughan was hired only a few short weeks before the season started, and Dickinson State still almost won the conference tournament which would have advanced them to the national tournament.

“I played for (Coach Phillips) at NDSU and I worked for him for a year at NDSU (in 2013-14)...” Vaughan said. “I have known him for a long time and I think it is a good opportunity for my family. I am going to miss Dickinson and the people here… It is hard to leave and it was hard for my family to make this decision.”


Northern State is a member of the Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and the Wolves went 26-6 in the 2019-20 campaign in Phillip’s first year as head coach.

“Any time you are given an opportunity to take over as a head coach for the first time, you are going to learn a ton…” Vaughan said. “The daily decisions as a head coach are so much different than an assistant. Being able to learn from that is something I will take away and hopefully I will get another chance to be a head coach someday again. Dickinson will always be the place that gave me my first opportunity.”

As for Dickinson State basketball, the job has been posted already and they have over 50 applicants.

“We are going to review the applicants this week and we hope to have some phone interviews by the end of the week and we hope to have on-campus interviews by the end of the following week,” Dickinson State athletic director Pete Stanton said.

Stanton and the athletic department hopes to have a coach in place no later than Aug. 10.

The Blue Hawks bring back a lot of talent, and Stanton is excited about the team this winter that is adding an excellent recruiting class.

He emphasized that they want to hire someone who will stick around for a while and build a program.

“We want someone who is going to be in place and stay in place and build something,” Stanton said.

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