Luther College Director of Athletics Joe Thompson has announced that Bryan Nikkel, has been named head baseball coach. Nikkel replaces Alex Smith who resigned after two years at the helm of the program. Nikkel will also serve as the Athletics Facilities Director
A 2008 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University, Nikkel takes over the Norse baseball program after spending the past four years as the head assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D. During his four years at Augustana, the Vikings recorded four 30-plus winning seasons that included a mark of 41-16 in 2014. During this same stretch, Augustana secured four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament appearances, two NCAA II Tournament appearances, and captured the 2014 NSIC tournament championship.
Prior to his four years at Augustana, he served as an assistant baseball coach at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) from 2007-2010, helping lead the Mustangs to a record of 81-53 and a NCAA II Tournament appearance. He has also served as head baseball coach for the Marshall, Minn., American Legion team (2009-2011) and was also the head coach for the Grand Rapids, Minn., VFW team (2004-07).
“I would like to thank Associate Athletic Director Renae Hartl and the entire search committee for all of their hard work and effort they put into this process, stated Nikkel. “I would also like to thank Joe Thompson for giving me this opportunity to pursue my passion of being a head baseball coach. To be selected as the next head coach at a place as prestigious as Luther College is an honor. My family and I look forward to beginning our new journey in Decorah. Go Norse!”
“We are very excited to have Bryan and his family join us at Luther,” commented Hartl. “I have no doubt he will be successful leading the baseball program.”