Justin Wieck took over as the University of Minnesota Duluth head men's basketball coach on May 1, 2018, becoming the 17th head coach in the 89-year history of the Bulldog program and just the fourth since the 1984-85 season. Wieck is enetering his second season as head coach for the Bulldogs.
During his first year, Wieck has helped a duo of players, senior forward Brandon Myer and forward Sean Burns, elevate their game to all-conference heights, as well as having erned four conference player of the week honors. Wieck helped to improve the Bulldogs from having an underwhelming season in 2017-18, to a positive overall record of 17-10, while 14-8 in conference, last season, UMD's best since 2008-09. During the 2018-19 season, the Bulldogs ranked No. T-13 in fewest fouls, as well as No. 6 in all of Division II for the fewest turnovers. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 regionally for the first time since 2008-09, and had a 4-1 record against NCAA Tournament teams.
Wieck's first recruiting class includes Drew Blair, a 2018 top 15 player in Wis., two time state champion for Stevens Point and a Division II transfer from Northwest Missouri State. Alex Illikainen, a Division I transfer from the University of Wisconsin, a 2014 top 100 player in the U.S. and a former 4-star recruit. Charlie Gorres, a 2019 Minn. top 15 recruit. Yalim Olcay, a Division I transfer from Western Carolina and a 16U Turkish National Team Training camp invite. Jack Middleton, a 2019 Minn. top 15 recruit as a Minn. Mr. Basketball finalist.
"My family and I are ecstatic to join the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Duluth community," said Wieck. "There is tremendous leadership from the top down in this department, as well as so many successful head coaches and programs. I am looking forward to joining such an awesome team. This basketball program has tremendous potential. The city of Duluth is a special place to be, UMD boasts a high academic reputation, a powerful and hungry fan and alumni base, and with the Romano Gymnasium renovations taking place this summer, this program is ready to take off. I am looking forward to jumping right in with this current roster, building relationships and getting this program back to the top of the NSIC."
During Wieck's successful four years of assistant coaching service (offensive coordinator) at MSU-Moorhead, the Dragons rolled up a 96-38 overall record, made three NCAA Tournament appearances, captured at least a share of two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular titles, advanced to two NSIC Tournament finals and reigned as the NSIC North Division champions three times. Over that span, he helped produced two NSIC Players of the Year in Aaron Lien (2016-17) and Jordan Riewer (2014-15), six All-NSIC first team selections and two National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Americans.
In 2014-15 -- Wieck's first season -- MSU-Moorhead enjoyed its most productive season in program history. In addition to setting a team single-season record for victories by going 35-4, the Dragons laid claim to the NCAA II Central Region crown and made it to the NCAA Division II Elite 8 for the first time ever. Along the way, MSU-Moorhead also broke previous school marks for field goals made, field goal percentage, three-point field goals made, free throws made, and free throw percentage.
Prior to his arrival in Moorhead, Wieck served as the head men's basketball coach for two years at the University of Jamestown (N.D.), where he went 32-31 while directing the Jimmies to a NAIA Division II National Tournament appearance in 2012-13 as well as a second-place finish in the Association of Independent Institutions (Aii) Tournament. The following year, Jamestown captured both the inaugural North Star Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships while finishing 17-12 overall. Wieck, the 2013-14 NSAA Coach of the Year, saw four of his players receive all-conference first team honors and two become All-Americans during his time in Jamestown.
Wieck's resume also includes a two-year assistant coaching stint at NSIC member Northern State University (2010-12) where he handled the Wolves' recruiting coordinator duties. In addition, he was employed for a total of four seasons as the video coordinator (2008-10) and graduate assistant coach (2006-08) at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. While with the Hawkeye staff, Wieck worked with Steve Alford and Todd Lickliter, both National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year recipients, and assisted the Iowa coaches in preparing opponent scouting reports along with breaking down Hawkeye practices and game films. He also served as assistant camp director for Iowa Summer Basketball Camps and was active in the academic monitoring and community outreach for the Hawkeye program.
A native of North Liberty, Iowa, Wieck joined the Iowa program as walk-on forward in 2004, fresh off a rewarding two-season career at Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). He eventually earned a scholarship as a senior -- the same year the Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Tournament and made their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Wieck, an Academic All-Big Ten selection, earned both his Bachelor's degree in finance (2006) and Master's degree in athletic administration (2008) from Iowa. He and his wife, Laura, have two children – son Jordy (7) and daughter Anya (5) and are expecting a third child in October 2019.
Casey Bruggeman joins the men's basketball staff as an assistant coach in 2018-19. Bruggeman was recently hired at St. Cloud State University as the men's assistant basketball coach for two months before joining the Bulldogs.
A native of Pelican Rapids, Minn., Bruggeman spent the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Mary. During his time with the Marauders, he aided the team with individual workouts, game planning, scouting opponents, and recruiting.
A 2016 graduate of Concordia College, Bruggeman played guard for the Cobbers before suffering a career-ending hip surgery that led him into the role of a student assistant his senior season. Bruggeman graduated with a degree in mathematics education before going on to complete his Master of Education in 2018 at U-Mary.
Carson Shanks will serve as an assistant coach for head coach Justin Wieck for the 2019-20 men's basketball season.
Shanks, who will oversee the UMD post players in his coaching role, played three seasons at the University of North Dakota (2014-17) and one season at the Loyola University Chicago before signing a professional contract with the Gzira Athletica Basketball Club in Malta. He played overseas for a few months before eventually accepting the Video Coordinator position at his alma mater. During his four-year collegiate run, Shanks averaged 5.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and almost a full block per game. He left the Fighting Hawks with the eighth most blocked shots in school history and helped UND to its first NCAA Tournament appearance (2016-17) in the Division I era. Shanks also played a key role as a reserve for Loyola's NCAA Final Four run his senior season, the team's first Final Four bid since 1963.
A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Shanks was a four-year letterwinner at Prior Lake High School, where he was a two-time all-conference player in the South Suburban Conference. He was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the state of Minnesota as a senior and helped the Lakers improve on their record each season, culminating with a 20-8 mark as a senior, the program’s best mark in a decade. From 2014-17, Shanks was the head coach and the social media director for the Grand Forks Fastbreak AAU Club.
Shanks earned a B.A. Degree in communication from North Dakota and currently resides in Duluth.
Bio coming soon!