Coaching Staff

Bryan Nikkel

Head Coach

  • 2007 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University
  • The 2018 campaign will be Coach Nikkel's fourth year as skipper of the Norse program
  • Last year, Luther tallied a record of 27-17, giving Coach Nikkel and three-year mark of 81-54
  • His players have earned a combined 16 all-conference honors including one named Iowa Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2016
  • In 2016, he led the Norse to a record of 34-14, the Iowa Conference Tournament championship and a trip to the NCAA III National Baseball Tournament Central Regional
  • In 2016, The Norse set single season school records for wins (34), hits (485), doubles (116) and in 2017 stolen bases (74)
  • In 2016, senior catcher Mitch Knippenberg was named a third team ABCA/Rawlings All-American, only the second Luther player in school history to earn this honor
  • Coach Nikkel Took over the Norse baseball program after serving as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D for four years
  • During this stretch Augustana produced four 30-plus win seasons; made two NCAA II National Tournament appearances; made four NSIC Tournament appearances capturing the tournament championship in 2014
  • During his coaching career he has recruited and coached nine players who have gone on to play professionally
  • Four-year letter winner as a catcher at SMSU and twice served as team captain
  • Following his playing days he was an assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State for three years (2007-2010)
  • He has also served as Head Coach for the Marshall, Minn., American Legion baseball team for two years (2009-2011) and the Grand Rapids, Minn., VFW baseball team for three years (2004-2007)

Blaine Barthel

Pitching Coach

  • 2013 graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Two-year letter winner while at UMD
  • Prior to attending UMD he attended Itasca Community College where he was a two-year letter winner
  • For the past two years he was the Southwest Minnesota State University pitching coach and recruiting coordinator
NCAA

IIAC

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