Coaching Staff

Bryan Nikkel

Head Coach

  • 2007 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University
  • The 2021 campaign will be Coach Nikkel's seventh year as skipper of the Norse program
  • The 2020 campaign was cut short after nine games due to COVID-19
  • Coach Nikkel's six-year record is 135-94
  • His players have earned a combined 28 all-conference honors including two named Iowa Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2018; nine have been named all-region
  • 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)

Tyler Vaughn

Pitching Coach

  • 2017 graduate of Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Masters degree from Southwest Minnesota State University
  • The 2021 campaign will be coach Vaughn's second year as an assistant coach for the Norse program
  • Prior to joining the Norse staff, he was as a graduate assistant and pitching coach for Southwest Minnesota State University
  • He has also served as an assistant coach for the Marshall, Minn., American Legion and Jr. Legion baseball teams for two years (2018-2019), and as the head coach for Sioux Falls West, Jr. Legion baseball team for two years (2016-2017)
  • In 2018, the SMSU pitching staff recorded its lowest ERA since 2014 and its second lowest team ERA since the 2010 season. Despite playing only 40 games, SMSU pitchers recorded 293 strikeouts--its highest total in three seasons--and second highest total in program history
  • During his collegiate career he had a four-year pitching career at Iowa Central Community College and Augustana University. Vaughn recorded six victories in two seasons at ICCC, before transferring to Augustana. During his senior season in 2017, Vaughn finished 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings

American Rivers Conference

Nike logo