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Taking the reins: Anderson hired as Jamestown boys basketball coach

Luke Anderson has been named head boys basketball coach at Jamestown High School, announced late Wednesday night. Anderson was an assistant under Kelley Kessler, who resigned last month after four years at the helm. Chris Aarhus / The Sun

Luke Anderson wanted to be a head basketball coach from the moment he arrived in Jamestown eight years ago.

He’s getting his chance.

Anderson was named head boys coach, announced in a press release at around 10:30 p.m., on Wednesday night. He was an assistant under former coach Kelley Kessler, who resigned last month due to a lack of progress in the program.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Anderson said. “It was a goal of mine to get to this point and become head coach. I really enjoy working with kids. It’s a natural fit for me.”

Anderson, originally from Lemmon, S.D., takes over a program that has been to state just once since 1994 — a trip out of the East Region in 2001. Jamestown has eight wins in the past two years.

Anderson said the boys program has a solid foundation. Jamestown will be one of the most experienced teams in the state next season, returning four starters including two two-year starters.

“There are a lot of good things in place here,” he said. “We’re returning quite a few kids from what we’ve had. I like to play an up-tempo game and our (lack of) size kind of warrants that. (On defense), I’m a man-to-man guy. It’s not that we won’t play a little zone. … We’re gonna kind of expand on what’s already been built and see where we can go from here.”

The next step for Jamestown’s program is to earn a trip to state, which Anderson clearly understands.

“A couple of years ago, we made it to a state-qualifier,” he said. “We’ll try to get us over that hump.”

Anderson teaches social studies at Jamestown Middle School. He said he intends on keeping his two other assistant jobs. He assists in football, and track and field at the middle school.

“Of course, time is always a big issue,” Anderson said. “It’s really about making those connections at a young age that can carry over to the high school level. That allows me to do that.”

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or