Tyler Thielges takes over as new L/L-M head coach
Tyler Thielges will be only the second coach since LaMoure and Litchville-Marion joined.
LAMOURE — For the first time since 2002, the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion Loboes boys basketball team will have a new head coach. Former head coach Darren Thielges announced his resignation from the position on Thursday, Nov. 17, after 19 years on the sidelines.
It did not take long for Thielges’ replacement to be announced as the school announced the promotion of assistant coach Tyler Thielges on Monday, Nov. 21. Thielges spent the last five years on his father’s staff.
“It’s a special place to be, it’s a special place to coach,” Thielges said. “We got really good kids, we got good families, we got a good school. There’s no other place that I would rather coach. As weird as it might sound to outside people, it’s a dream job to me.”
Before he was told that he was the new head coach, Thielges said he was preparing for the season regardless of whether he got the head coaching job or not.
“I just decided ... to get to work and if I didn’t get named head coach, well, I was going to be thinking about different things I wanted to do program-wise anyways,” Thielges said. “So, I spent a lot of time this past weekend, getting ready for this season and getting ready for the potential that I would be the head coach and it worked out for me.”
Thielges said he will keep assistant coach Lucas Isaacson on the staff.
Thielges is taking over a team that made it to four state tournaments under Darren Thielges, including a third-place finish in the 2022 NDHSAA State Tournament.
“My dad left me as good of a situation as a next coach could have,” Thielges said. “It just happens to be that it was my dad. I want to honor him and maybe even build off the tremendous program that he’s had for the last 20 years.”
Thielges, who graduated in 2012, played for his father all four years in high school before he played football during his freshman year at South Dakota State University, basketball at Valley City State University as a sophomore and junior and basketball at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) as a senior.
Thielges said his father has helped prepare him for the big job by giving him a lot of game-planning responsibilities ahead of games. Despite that, he will have to adjust to the game-planning part of the game.
“I would say the biggest thing is game management at the varsity level," Thielges said. "Although I’ve been blessed with some good management at the JV level and other levels, it’s just a little bit different when you’re the varsity head coach. The buck starts and ends with you, so being prepared for that.”
Thielges said he is looking for his team to consistently work hard and play with a neverending motor.
“I want our team to consistently compete,” Thielges said. “I want us to bring tremendous effort and great attitudes to the floor every time we play. We’re going to play unselfish on offense. We’re going to play tough and hard-nosed on defense. From there we’re going to build our system and our approach to what fits our personnel each year.”
Thielges is the owner of Press On Performance, a gym in LaMoure, in which he also doubles as a trainer. He said he will bring a health-conscious approach to his team’s practices and talk about being ready every time the team steps on the court and doing what it takes off the floor to make that happen.
Thielges said his short-term goals for the team are to work hard and make sure the players are controlling what they can only control. He said his long-term goals are to be a mainstay in the state tournament every year.
“Long term, I want to consistently compete for championships,” Thielges said. “I want to put us in a position to be our best this year, compete for a championship this year but at the same time develop a program where we are in the hunt every single year.”
Despite all three of his children being 5 years old and younger, Thielges thinks about coaching his kids while thinking about the fond memories of playing under his father. Thielges said he will talk with his father all the time about life on and off the court.
“He’ll continue to be a mentor for me,” he said. “I’ll be in plenty of communication with him. I’m sure he’ll be at pretty much every game. He’s not only my mentor in basketball and coaching. He’s my basketball in life. He’s going to be the first guy I go to for advice.”