Baseball Coaches


Steve Gust
Steve Gust

Steve Gust

Head Baseball Coach
The University of North Dakota ’01
stgust@dwu.edu

605-995-285

In five years as the head coach of the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball program, Steve Gust has made sure that the Tigers achieved various levels of success each season, and 2013 was no different for the Tigers.

Gust, who enters his sixth year with the program in 2014, led DWU to a 24-26 overall mark in 2013. Dakota Wesleyan went 9-11 and tied for seventh in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, and went 2-2 in the league’s postseason tournament. One of the Tigers’ wins was a 4-3, nine-inning victory over Mount Marty College in an elimination game on the first day of the tournament.

The Tigers tied the school record for wins on a spring break trip with eight in 2013, including a clean sweep of NCAA Division II opponents. DWU swept Northern State in a doubleheader and ended the trip with a 4-3 win over Minot State University. Dakota Wesleyan also split a doubleheader with Peru State, which was receiving votes in the NAIA at the time. Later in the season, the Tigers split with Mayville State, which was also receiving votes in the NAIA at the time. Dakota Wesleyan also set the record for triples in a season with 24.

For the second straight season, a Dakota Wesleyan athlete received one of the GPAC’s top awards in the postseason. Senior shortstop Michael Lukkason was named the league’s player-of-the-year eight months after tearing his ACL in a preseason scrimmage. Lukkason – who was also named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American – led the league in batting average (.401) and hits (67) and finished second with five home runs. He also earned All-GPAC First Team honors.

Senior outfielder Erik Nockleby also earned All-GPAC First Team honors and was named to the Gold Glove Team. He led the NAIA and the GPAC and tied the school record with a perfect fielding percentage. Freshman catcher Christian Doyle also tied the school fielding-percentage record with a perfect 1.00. Junior first baseman Tim Cusick and senior catcher Toby Kaplan earned All-GPAC Second Team honors and second baseman Kirk McBreen, outfielder Cody Silveria and pitchers Kyle Larson, Shaun Dean and Chris Housley all earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention accolades. Anthony Pakutka and Alex Hinz earned Daktronics Scholar-Athlete honors.

Cusick led the NAIA and the GPAC and set a school record with eight triples in his first season with the team. He was also third in the nation with 1.2 RBIs per game, and led the team with 61 RBIs.

In five seasons, Gust has coached 39 All-GPAC selections, three GPAC Gold Glove winners, one GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, one GPAC Player-of-the-Year, two All-Americans and nine NAIA Scholar-Athletes. He has an overall record of 127-133 in five seasons.

He came to Dakota Wesleyan after four years as the head baseball coach at Northland Community and Technical College (East Grand Forks, Minn.), and he left NCTC as one of the most successful baseball coaches in school history. His Pioneers’ teams went 92-75 over four seasons, and Gust earned Minnesota Community College Conference North Division Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2005. NCTC qualified for the MCCC State Tournament all four seasons.

In his final season at NCTC, Gust led the Pioneers to a school record 27 wins and a second-place finish at the MCCC State Tournament. His squad also advanced to the NJCAA Region 13 Tournament in 2008, where they finished third. Gust also spent his summers coaching the East Grand Forks American Legion baseball team and amassed 466 total victories.

He spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux finished that season 38-16 and qualified for the NCAA Regional Tournament. He has also coached high school baseball. At Sacred Heart High School (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Gust led the team to 132 wins and was named Coach-of-the-Year three times.

In 2010, Gust spent the summer as an assistant coach for the Mankato Moondogs, who are a part of the Northwoods League – one of the top collegiate leagues in North America. Gust helped coach seven players who went on to sign pro contracts.

In 2012, Gust was chosen as a head coach for the U.S. Baseball Championships North vs. South All-Star Game in Virginia. The game, which featured high school baseball players ages 17 and under from around the United States, was nationally televised.

Gust graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and coaching. In 2010, he graduated with a master’s degree and education policy and administration from Dakota Wesleyan.

Gust lives in Mitchell with his wife, Anita, and their three children: Trenton, Jaeden and Tommy John.


JT Fisher
JT Fisher from DWU.

JT Fisher

Assistant Baseball Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’97

JT Fisher enters his second season with the Dakota Wesleyan baseball team in 2013-14.  Fisher is a Dakota Wesleyan alum and played baseball for the Tigers from 1994-97. Fisher works primarily with the pitchers and catchers.

Fisher, a Wisconsin Dells, Wis., native, is the head high school and American Legion baseball coach in Huron, S.D. He led the high school team to the state tournament in the program’s first year in 2012. Fisher started the high school program in Huron in built it from the ground up.

Prior to playing baseball at Dakota Wesleyan, Fisher played on a USA Baseball team that traveled and played in China and Japan for two months.

Fisher, who is a scout for Stars and Stripes Baseball, will also help with the strength and conditioning program at Dakota Wesleyan. He currently resides in Huron.


Rich Loomis

Rich Loomis

Assistant Baseball Coach
Valley City State University
University of Wisconsin-Superior

Rich Loomis enters his second year with the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball program in 2013. Loomis will serve as the team’s pitching coach.

Loomis, who has worked as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Angels scout program since 2011, has a variety of coaching experience at the collegiate and high school levels. He was the pitching coach for the Wisconsin Woodchucks, which is part of the summer college wood bat Northwoods League. He also served as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colo., and the pitching coach at Barry Unviersity in Miami Shores, Fla.

Loomis started his coaching career in Canada as the head coach of the Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan) Dodgers. He led the team to a provincial and Western Canada championship.

Loomis played college baseball at Valley City State University, where he was an all-conference and all-district pitcher and he earned a degree in elementary education. After college, he played in Moose Jaw, where he was named the league’s pitcher-of-the-year in his first season with the team. Loomis later received his master’s degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Loomis and his wife, Beth, have one daughter, Madison.


Kevin Nunn
Kevin Nunn

Kevin Nunn

Assistant Baseball Coach
Concordia University (Ore.) ’90
kenunn@dwu.edu
605-995-2853

Kevin Nunn enters his third season with the Dakota Wesleyan baseball team in 2013-14.  Nunn comes to DWU with plenty of baseball coaching experience at a variety of levels and serves as the Tigers’ hitting coach.

Nunn, an East Grand Forks, Minn., native, played for Team USA in the summer of 1986 and then spent two years at Minnesota Crookston Junior College where he led the nation in batting average.  He finished his degree and college playing days at Concordia University (Ore.) in 1990.

From there, Nunn went on to the minor leagues where he played for several years, and then he served as a part-time scout for the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins.  He spent six years as the Edina American Legion hitting coach in Edina, Minn., and six years as the hitting and infield coach at Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minn.  Nunn also served as the head varsity baseball coach for three seasons at Waseca High School in Waseca, Minn., and spent one year as the assistant coach at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.  He continues to serve as a hitting coach at youth clinics put on by the Minnesota Twins.

Nunn and his wife, Christy, have been married for 19 years and have three children: TJ, Nolan and McKenna.


John Greicar
John Greicar

John Greicar

Assistant Baseball Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’11
Dakota Wesleyan University ’12
john.greicar.08@students.dwu.edu
605-995-2853

John Greicar returns for his third season as an assistant coach for the Dakota Wesleyan baseball program in 2012-13.

Greicar graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in May after playing two seasons with the Tigers, and this year he is back with the team as an assistant coach.  In his senior season with Dakota Wesleyan, Greicar led the team in batting average (.351), hits (52), doubles (13), RBIs (26), putouts (348) and fielding percentage (.974).  The first baseman earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention honors as a senior.

In his junior year, Greicar had a .300 batting average and a team-high 272 putouts.  He finished the year with a .990 fielding percentage and had 42 hits and 26 RBIs.  Before coming to Dakota Wesleyan, Greicar played two seasons at Northland Community College in East Grand Forks, Minn.

Greicar is a native of Grand Forks, N.D., and recently obtained his master’s degree in educational policy and administration at Dakota Wesleyan.


Michael Lukkason

Michael Lukkason

Assistant Baseball Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’13

Michael Lukkason wrapped up a stellar four-year career with the DWU baseball team in May, and he returns to the team in 2014 as an assistant coach. Lukkason, an East Grand Forks, Minn., native, will work mainly with the team’s middle infielders.

Lukkason saved his best baseball for last at Dakota Wesleyan. The shortstop earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors as well as All-GPAC First Team accolades, and he was named the league’s player-of-the-year as a senior. He led the team in batting average (.401), hits (67), doubles (13) and on-base percentage (.458) in 2013 and finished second in home runs and slugging percentage. He was 28th in the NAIA and led the GPAC in batting average.

Lukkason, who also earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention accolades as a junior, wrapped up his career with 147 hits, 28 doubles and 104 RBI. He had a career batting average of .318 and a slugging percentage of .465 to go with a fielding percentage of .902. He played shortstop for the Weyburn Beavers, a collegiate summer team in Canada, the summer after his senior season at Dakota Wesleyan. He played prep baseball at East Grand Forks High School.


Toby Kaplan

Toby Kaplan

Assistant Baseball Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’13

Toby Kaplan is back on the Dakota Wesleyan bench for the third year in 2014, only this time he joins the Tigers as an assistant coach. Kaplan, who wrapped up his two-year playing career at DWU in May, will work with the team’s catchers.

Kaplan, a North St. Paul, Minn., native, earned All-GPAC Second Team honors as a senior. He batted .324 for the Tigers and had 35 hits, 32 RBIs, a .493 slugging percentage, 13 stolen bases and a .958 fielding percentage from behind the plate. He was 12th in the NAIA in triples (5) and first in the GPAC in home runs (9). Kaplan also earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention honors as a junior.

Kaplan played two seasons of junior college baseball at Riverland Community College and Central Lakes College before coming to Dakota Wesleyan. He had the sixth-best batting average in the NJCAA in 2010 and took part in the NJCAA World Series in 2009. He played prep baseball at North High School.


Nick Tadlock

Nick Tadlock

Assistant Baseball Coach

Nick Tadlock used the last year of his college eligibility in 2013, but he returns to the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball program as an assistant coach in 2014. He will serve as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Tadlock wrapped up his career with the Tigers in May. He batted .250 as a senior and had 42 hits, including 10 doubles, and 28 RBIs. He went 11-for-11 on stolen bases and recorded 14 putouts from the outfield. The Rapid City, S.D., native earned All-GPAC First Team honors as a junior after finishing second in the GPAC with seven home runs. He batted .295 with a slugging percentage of .509 that year and had a team-high 37 RBIs. He also earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention status as a sophomore in 2011.

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