Lien tabbed as next head softball coach

MITCHELL, S.D. ( – Dakota Wesleyan University Athletics is excited to announce the hiring of Derek Lien as the next head softball coach, Director of Athletics Jon Hart announced Friday.

Lien has nearly 20 years of experience with fastpitch softball and was the assistant softball and pitching coach last season for the Tigers. He helped guide DWU softball to a 6-4 record before traveling to Tucson, Ariz., for their annual Spring Break trip where the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

“We are thrilled to have Derek take the reins of DWU softball,” Hart said. “In a short amount of time he has proven he understands the game and has the ability to create a culture. We had some outstanding candidates but Derek’s overall relationship with the team, familiarity with DWU and ability to recruit made him the best fit. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of the program under Coach Lien’s leadership. This is a big win for DWU.”

During his time as assistant, Lien helped recruit and develop pitchers, assist in daily practice schedules and set monthly and annual goals with all players.

Along with his role as assistant coach, Lien has worked as an admissions counselor for the previous six years with strong success. He began his work as a Transfer Coordinator before moving into a role where he worked mainly with freshmen students and transfers, producing the largest incoming freshman class in Dakota Wesleyan history.

He most recently transitioned into the role of Associate Director of Admissions. Lien will continue to assist the admissions office in a consistent capacity until the season officially gets underway.

The Tigers are expected to return 11 players from last year, including a handful of talented pitchers that Lien coached a season ago. They also add an accomplished class of freshmen with the signing of 12 players.