Jimmies men's hoops assistant Tath Dak excited to start working

Apr. 13—JAMESTOWN — The University of Jamestown men's basketball staff is complete as Tath Dak was hired as an assistant coach.

"I'm just super excited and super humbled that he entrusted me with the opportunity," Dak said.

Dak joins the Jimmies after spending two years as an assistant at NCAA Division II Southwest Minnesota State University. Dak said he first connected with Bruggeman through Mustangs head coach Brad Bigler because Bruggeman's younger brother, Ryan, played for him.

Bruggeman said that Dak worked a recruiting camp at the Univeristy of South Dakota, which is where the two connected and Dak made a positive impression on Bruggeman.

"It became pretty clear to me that he'd be a great fit for our coaching staff here at UJ," Bruggeman said.

The former University of Minnesota-Morris forward said he and Bruggeman agree on their care for players and their desire to see their players have success.

"I feel like as me and him continue to have conversations we'll continue to build that vision up together," Dak said. "Me and him, we're really just about finding really good players, putting those players in positions to play to their strengths and to their abilities. That's what Casey's about, that's what I'm about so we're really just about finding really good kids that fit us, fit Jamestown and putting them in their positions to do their thing."

Bruggeman said he wanted an assistant coach who is a good person and a good coach.

Dak said he is hoping to glean a lot from Bruggeman based on his experiences in the game. Dak said he is personable and puts a positive spin on things.

"I'm somebody that's gonna work my hardest every single day," Dak said. "I can guarantee my players will get my dead level best every single day. I'm somebody that's high energy, I'm extremely positive. I like to show that in the energy that I bring to practice daily, making sure that's hot for my players and challenging them to reach that level of positivity and energy that I bring to the game every single day."

Dak said he signed his contract on April 2. He said he already moved to Jamestown and is working with the players.

"I think it's extremely important to put the faces to the names," Dak said. "I'm a big relationship guy, so just to see these guys, hang out with them, spend time with them as soon as I get here, it means a lot to me. We're hoping to build a program that's built on caring for our players and making that relationship deeper than basketball. Just being able to start with them right away in the spring is gonna strengthen that relationship and hopefully carry it on as we get into the summer and into next season."

Dak is only 24 years old and that can help him relate to the players in way that an older coach might not be able to.

"I think being young and having a young coaching staff is ... really gonna allow us to connect with our players on a deeper level, maybe able to relate to them on some of the things that they go through in their day-to-day lives, understanding once again where they come from," Dak said.

During his time with Southwest Minnesota State University, Dak coached in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference — the conference that the Jimmies will join in the 2025-26 season.

Bruggeman said he hired Dak because of his overall experience.

"Obviously it does benefit our program having him come from Division II and the NSIC but I don't think that's the number one factor in our decision as far as our staff," Bruggeman said. "It's always most important that we find great people who are the best coaches that treat our players the way they need to be treated and to help them grow both on and off the court."

Dak said he and Bruggeman will split recruiting the local area. Dak said he will recruit players from the Midwest. Dak said he will look for unselfish players who shoot the ball with a high field goal percentage and play hard.

"I'm somebody that's got connections obviously in Minnesota, the Dakotas," Dak said. "I'm originally from Nebraska, reaching from different areas all around the country and finding people that fit us first."

Dak has played for and coached under many different coaches, and he credits them for helping him become the coach he is today. Dak said his high school junior varsity coach, Matt Wrenholt, and varsity coach, Jeff Campbell, helped lay the foundation of what it means to be a good player, a good teammate and how to view the game. Dak said while he was Minnesota-Morris, he learned under the team's head coach, Paul Grove, about what it takes to care about your players on and off the floor.

"Yes you can be hard on them on the court but that doesn't go very far if you haven't built that relationship with them outside of the court," Dak said. "He's somebody that I still talk to this day and is an amazing guy. He's somebody that told me that I could be a decent coach one day and the guy that got me into the coaching world."

Dak said he is excited to be in town and get to work and spend time in the community.