Dakota Wesleyan University dismisses Derek Lien as softball coach amid DUI guilty plea

The former Tigers coach pleaded guilty on Thursday in Davison County court

Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers (Republic file photo)
We are part of The Trust Project.

MITCHELL — Dakota Wesleyan University has dismissed head softball coach Derek Lien following a charge for driving under the influence, to which Lien pleaded guilty to on Thursday, July 28.

A July 26 announcement on the DWU athletic website announced the university was parting ways with Lien.

"We greatly appreciate Coach Lien's dedication to the softball program over the past three seasons, both as an assistant and head coach," said DWU Athletic Director Jon Hart in a statement. "We have decided to move the program in a different direction and the search for a new head coach is already underway. I am grateful to Derek for his leadership and I wish him nothing but the best personally and professionally in his future endeavors."

Lien was 25-57 in two seasons as DWU head coach, including 15-29 in 2022.

Lien, 29, of Mitchell, was charged May 22 with one count of driving under the influence after a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper said he blew a .09 on a preliminary breath test. According to eCourts, the state's online portal for the Unified Judicial System, Lien completed a treatment program and submitted a certificate of completion to the court.


A court hearing was held Thursday in Davison County, where Lien entered a guilty plea and received a suspended imposition of sentence, which allows an individual to have the record of the DUI sealed if the subject meets the terms of probation. In court before First Circuit Court Judge Chris Giles, Lien was ordered to pay $809.50 in fines and court costs.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Mitchell Republic." Often, the "Mitchell Republic" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What to read next
No updates on high school plans were expected, discussion likely to continue at Sept. 12 meeting
The driver lost control of the vehicle on loose gravel, causing the truck to roll.
‘We still have to provide decent facilities for our kids.’ Board members look ahead to big decisions
Returning champions Howard will square off against fourth-ranked Hanson in the Mitchell Republic's first livestreamed football game of the sesason.