Mitchell native Matt Sevareid a finalist for DWU men's basketball position
Mitchell native Matt Sevareid said Friday he's a finalist for the open Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball coaching position.
A 1995 Mitchell High School graduate and current Northern State University assistant men's basketball coach, Sevareid said he will be interviewing in front of DWU's search committee Wednesday.
Earlier this week, DWU Athletic Director Curt Hart said there are four candidates remaining after receiving 122 applicants for the position that opened May 27 when former coach Shane Murphy resigned. Hart did not give any of the finalists' names.
Sevareid, 36, said there were several reasons he wants to become the head coach at DWU.
"Being able to come home back to Mitchell," said Sevareid, who helped Mitchell High School win a state boys' basketball championship in 1994. "I've been a big Dakota Wesleyan fan my entire life.
"I love Northern State and everything about it, and I feel Dakota Wesleyan and Northern State have a lot of similarities. They both have very passionate fan bases, both fan bases are very knowledgable about the game of basketball and there's an interest and an atmosphere; they get excited about it."
For the past three years, Sevareid has been an assistant at Northern State, an NCAA Division II university in Aberdeen, which is also where he finished his collegiate playing career.
As a junior and senior in college, he played for NSU after transferring from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he played for two years out of high school.
In his senior year in the 1999-2000 season, Sevareid earned honorable-mention all-conference accolades and helped the team to its third straight NCAA tournament appearance. He also led the league in three-point shooting percentage.
Sevareid got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant under Don Meyer after his senior year. He also spent time as a volunteer assistant at Gonzaga, an NCAA Division I university, and had a stop as the head assistant at Jamestown College.
He got his first head coaching experience at Presentation College in Aberdeen. In three seasons from 2007 to 2010, his teams went 29-48. At the time, Presentation was an NCAA Division III school and did not offer athletic scholarships.
After three years with Presentation, Sevareid was hired back at Northern State and has completed three years as the top assistant coach for the men's team.
"I love what I do as an assistant here at Northern State, but (the DWU men's job) was one head coaching position I would be interested in," Sevareid said.
"College coaching is very, very difficult," he added. "You really have to put the time in to get to a point to just get an interview just to be a head coach. I feel blessed for this opportunity."
Sevareid said recruiting locally "is the heart and soul of any program and any success." In total, he has been coaching college basketball for 13 years.
"I've been at all levels of college basketball," Sevareid said. "NAIA Division II is a great league. The (Great Plains Athletic Conference), if you're competing for a conference championship, you're competing for a national title. That's something that I would be very interested in doing."
Sevareid's mother and father, Brian and Kim, reside in Mitchell. His wife, Maria, is also from Mitchell, and the couple have four children. They have one boy, Memphis, and three girls, Madyson, Cameron and Skylar.
Hart said all four of the finalists who will interview for the job next week have South Dakota ties. One coach mentioned by many basketball fans is Sioux Falls O'Gorman boys' coach and Mitchell native Derek Robey.
Robey has not returned messages left by The Daily Republic this week requesting comment on the open position.