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Luke Bamberg tabbed as next Corsica-Stickney head boys basketball coach

Bamberg won a Class B state title as a player with Corsica-Stickney in 2011 before basketball and baseball careers at Dakota Wesleyan

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CORSICA, S.D. — A familiar face has been chosen to assume head coaching duties of the Corsica-Stickney varsity boys basketball program following the retirement of longtime coach Mike Tuschen.

Luke Bamberg, who played for Tuschen for two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, after Corsica and Stickney began co-oping, has been tabbed as the Jaguars’ new head coach.

“With Coach Tuschen retiring, it felt like a good time to get back into it,” Bamberg said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, whether it was basketball or baseball. I just love the aspect of trying to help kids reach their potential.”

Luke Bamberg
Corsica/Stickney's Luke Bamberg celebrates after the final buzzer of the Jaguars' win over Avon in the Region 6B championship at the Corn Palace.
Mitchell Republic file photo

Bamberg spent the past two years away from the bench after serving as an assistant coach for two seasons under Tuschen. The COVID-19 pandemic played a part in his hiatus, as did welcoming a daughter with his wife, Lexi, during that time, but having been away, Bamberg is reinvigorated and ready to get back to coaching. Though leading the Jaguars will be Bamberg’s first head coaching position in basketball, he has prior experience coaching legion baseball.

During 37 seasons coaching Stickney and, after the co-op and later consolidation, Corsica-Stickney boys basketball, Tuschen won more than 550 games and won a pair of state titles. Bamberg was a senior on the 2011 state championship team, and as such knows well the success he follows.

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“Obviously the biggest challenge is going to be trying to connect the success that Coach Tushen had being there for over 35 years,” Bamberg said. “The amount of wins he had speaks for itself, but following a coach like that, the torch is lit. I just have to carry on the success as best I can.”

A Corsica native, Bamberg was a standout on the basketball court and the baseball diamond, moving on to play both collegiately at Dakota Wesleyan. During his time as a Tiger hooper, the 6-foot-6 forward was a three-year starter, including during his senior season when DWU finished the season as NAIA Division II runner-up with a record of 32-5.

Luke Bamberg.DWUmen
Dakota Wesleyan’s Luke Bamberg, right, fights for room in the post against Dordt’s Tyler Wolterstorff in the first half of a Great Plains Athletic Conference basketball game at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Having played for and coached alongside Tuschen, Bamberg brings a sense of continuity to the Jaguar basketball program. Further, between the leadership he learned from in high school and college, Bamberg feels he’ll bring a player-friendly approach to his new spot roaming the sidelines.

“Between Coach Tuschen and Coach [Matt] Wilber at Dakota Wesleyan, I have that aspect of being a player’s coach,” Bamberg said. “I can understand where the kids are coming from and trying to move forward to be the best you can each day.”

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at ldierks@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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