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Luke Bamberg tabbed as next Corsica-Stickney head boys basketball coach

Apr. 29—CORSICA, S.D. — A familiar face has been chosen to assume head coaching duties of the Corsica-Stickney varsity boys basketball program following the retirement of longtime coach Mike Tuschen.

Luke Bamberg, who played for Tuschen for two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, after Corsica and Stickney began co-oping, has been tabbed as the Jaguars' new head coach.

"With Coach Tuschen retiring, it felt like a good time to get back into it," Bamberg said. "It's something I've always wanted to do, whether it was basketball or baseball. I just love the aspect of trying to help kids reach their potential."

Bamberg spent the past two years away from the bench after serving as an assistant coach for two seasons under Tuschen. The COVID-19 pandemic played a part in his hiatus, as did welcoming a daughter with his wife, Lexi, during that time, but having been away, Bamberg is reinvigorated and ready to get back to coaching. Though leading the Jaguars will be Bamberg's first head coaching position in basketball, he has prior experience coaching legion baseball.

During 37 seasons coaching Stickney and, after the co-op and later consolidation, Corsica-Stickney boys basketball, Tuschen won more than 550 games and won a pair of state titles. Bamberg was a senior on the 2011 state championship team, and as such knows well the success he follows.

"Obviously the biggest challenge is going to be trying to connect the success that Coach Tushen had being there for over 35 years," Bamberg said. "The amount of wins he had speaks for itself, but following a coach like that, the torch is lit. I just have to carry on the success as best I can."

A Corsica native, Bamberg was a standout on the basketball court and the baseball diamond, moving on to play both collegiately at Dakota Wesleyan. During his time as a Tiger hooper, the 6-foot-6 forward was a three-year starter, including during his senior season when DWU finished the season as NAIA Division II runner-up with a record of 32-5.

Having played for and coached alongside Tuschen, Bamberg brings a sense of continuity to the Jaguar basketball program. Further, between the leadership he learned from in high school and college, Bamberg feels he'll bring a player-friendly approach to his new spot roaming the sidelines.

"Between Coach Tuschen and Coach [Matt] Wilber at Dakota Wesleyan, I have that aspect of being a player's coach," Bamberg said. "I can understand where the kids are coming from and trying to move forward to be the best you can each day."