DWU names new head men’s basketball coach

May 14, 2024

MITCHELL, S.D.- – Dakota Wesleyan University Athletic Director Ross Cimpl has announced the appointment of Kevin Williamson as the new DWU men’s basketball head coach. Williamson, a 2007 graduate of the University of Great Falls, holds a master’s degree from Bemidji State University. He comes to Mitchell from his previous head coaching job at the University of Saint Katherine, a NAIA school located in San Marcos, Calif.

Williamson commented on his new position stating, “I want to thank athletic director Ross Cimpl, President Kittle and coach Christensen for the entire hiring process at DWU. They were extremely thorough, diligent, and welcoming throughout the entire process. I felt extremely comfortable on the visit with everyone I met, and I felt how genuine everyone was, it made the decision easy for us.” Williamson added, “I also want to say thank you to coach Wilber for leaving the program in a great place with quality student-athletes that are talented players to build upon. It’s rare to get to take over a great program that’s on solid ground and I believe coach Wilbs did that here.”

Director of Athletics Ross Cimpl voiced enthusiasm for Williamson’s appointment. “We are so excited for the future of DWU men’s basketball. This was a long and thorough process, and we believe we got our guy with Coach Williamson, who is going to be a tremendous asset to our athletic department and our community.”

Williamson’s more than 15 years as a collegiate coach has had two common threads that have followed him no matter where he is: winning and success on the court and implementing success in the classroom. While at the University of Saint Katherine, the Firebirds and Williamson compiled an 83-42 record with three NAIA tournament appearances, one conference and one conference tournament championship, and a 3.40 team average GPA over 10 semesters (3.49 in the four most recent). Finished top three in the conference all four seasons. Williamson coached one All-American, one player of the year, a freshman and newcomer of the year, a sixth man of the year and 16 all-conference players.

In previous coaching jobs Williamson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Utah Tech University. During his time there the Trailblazers went 37-18 while making the NCAA Division II National Tournament and were named PacWest Co-Champions.

Coach Williamson also has experience coaching and recruiting in the Midwest where he spent five years in the NSIC coaching at Bemidji State from 2010-12, and at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 2012-15. During his time as an assistant coach and diversity liaison to athletics at Minnesota Duluth, the Bulldogs doubled their win total over three seasons. At Bemidji State the Beavers were the 2012 NSIC Conference Champions, compiling a 22-9 overall and 16-6 conference record, both bests in program history. During his time at BSU, Williamson recruited and developed James Ellisor who was a NCAA DII Daktronics National Player of the Year, All-American, and NSIC Player of the Year.

When asked about the process of finding the best candidate for Tiger men’s basketball Cimpl said, “We wanted to find the right fit for this position. We knew there would be a great deal of interest in the position, but we stressed that we wanted to find someone who knew what Dakota Wesleyan and DWU basketball is all about—what it means to be a Tiger.”

Cimpl stated that the extensive search attracted over 100 applicants.