JC picks Wieck: Young NSU assistant takes over JimmiesJustin Wieck thought he was headed for a career as a pharmacist, or maybe a banker. Then one day, Steve Alford — one of the most recognizable names in college basketball both as a player and a coach — took Wieck aside.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Justin Wieck thought he was headed for a career as a pharmacist, or maybe a banker.
Then one day, Steve Alford — one of the most recognizable names in college basketball both as a player and a coach — took Wieck aside.
“He told me I should think about being a coach. When someone like that tells you that, it makes you think. … I probably wasn’t smart enough to be a pharmacist or banker anyways,” Wieck joked.
Clearly, Alford was right in his assessment, and Jamestown College agrees. Wieck was announced as the school’s new head men’s basketball coach on Monday.
Wieck, a native of Iowa City, Iowa, takes over the Jimmies with an impressive resume, despite being just 28 years old.
Wieck, pronounced Wick, spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Northern State in Aberdeen. Prior to that, he was on staff at the University of Iowa as the video coordinator for four seasons under Alford and then Todd Lickliter. He also was accomplished on the floor, playing two seasons for Division I Iowa of the Big Ten, earning a scholarship as a senior after walking on his junior season following two years at Kirkland Community College. Clearly intellect was not an issue either, being twice named an all-academic Big Ten team member.
“I really believe he’s the right person, in the right situation at the right time,” JC athletic director Lawrie Paulson said. “His name kept coming up with everybody I talked to. He comes very highly recommended and I expect he’ll do a very good job for us.”
Wieck is replacing Matt Murken, who was hired for the same job at NCAA Division II Minot State. Wieck’s hiring follows a similar pattern over the last decade of JC hiring up-and-coming assistant coaches for their first head job. That also comes with the flip side of bigger schools becoming interested if those coaches succeed, which is what has happened with Brad Huse, Jeff Trumbauer and Murken — the program’s three previous coaches.
“We don’t know what the results will be. He has to get the team prepared. He has to recruit. … Those things are up to him,” Paulson said. “We do know he’s a smart guy, a hard-worker and a good person.”
Despite the opening coming late in the summer, there was heavy interest in the job. The school received more than 50 applicants, several of them very strong.
“When I heard about the opening, it was definitely a situation where I wanted to get my foot in the door and be considered,” Wieck said. “I really enjoyed Northern State and the coaches and players there, but this really is a great opportunity. It was too good not to be interested.
“Obviously there is a great tradition of success here. I can really tell there is a lot of support on campus and in the community. Coach Murken did a great job and we just want to build on that.”
Wieck is married and has a 7-month-old son. His wife Laura gave up an elementary school principal position in Aberdeen, but both are excited to be in Jamestown.
“My wife is great. She’s very supportive and we’re excited to be here,” Wieck said. “We’re really looking forward to this opportunity.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com