Hansen leaving SDSU for UNC
May 22. 2013 9:23AM
After five years on the bench for the Jackrabbits, South Dakota State assistant men’s basketball coach Austin Hansen resigned his position at SDSU to accept an assistant coaching position at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo.
“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Nagy and South Dakota State gave me to be a part of this program for five years,” Hansen said of his time at SDSU. “I’m very grateful to have coached a tremendous group of guys that have worked hard to achieve a very high level of success for SDSU basketball. The efforts of these guys have provided me with this new opportunity, and I couldn’t be more thankful to them. I wish them nothing but the best for continued success.”
A 2003 graduate of South Dakota State, the Valley Springs native joined the Jackrabbits as an assistant coach in 2008 after five years as an assistant at Minnesota State, Mankato. In his five years at SDSU, he helped turn the program into a perennial contender in The Summit League and helped lead the Jacks to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013.
“I can’t express enough how much I appreciate Austin and the job he did for us,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “If you track the progression of our team since he came here, you can easily see how important he has been to our program. It’s very difficult for me to let him go, but I know he wants to stretch his boundaries, so I wish him nothing but the best. He is a tremendous coach and has a great future.”
UNC head coach B.J. Hill said Hansen has been a big part of SDSU’s success and move from Division II to Division I.
“He’s done a great job of recruiting for them and been a great part of that staff.
Anytime you can get a guy who’s been through the same transformation we have and has had a lot of success, that’s a big coup for us. We’re excited to have Austin and his recruiting experience at the Division I level. His ties will be really great for this program,” Hill said.
Hansen’s time as a coach for the Jackrabbits served as a homecoming for him after an illustrious and decorated playing career at SDSU. He played for the Jackrabbits from 1999-2003 and left the program as the only player in program history to lead the team in scoring in each of his four years.
During his junior season, Hansen helped lead the Jackrabbits to a North Central Conference regular season and postseason championship. He finished his playing career third on the school’s career points list and his 37-point performance in a game during the 2000-01 season still ranks as the ninth highest single-game point total in school history.
His playing days with the Jackrabbits also coincided with Hill’s time on staff as a graduate assistant, so Hill already had a feel for how Hansen operated.
After his playing days for the Jackrabbits were over, Hansen moved on to NCC-rival Minnesota State, Mankato, where he served as an assistant coach for five years.
In his five years with the Mavericks, Hansen helped lead them to a 116-37 record and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He coached a total of 12 all-NCC selections, five academic All-NCC players, eight All-North Central Region selections, two NCC Most Valuable Players, two NCC Newcomers of the Year, one NCC Defensive Player of the Year and one NCC Freshman of the Year.
Hansen graduated from South Dakota State with a degree in health, physical education and recreation and graduated from Minnesota State in 2005 with a master's degree in sports administration.
SDSU plans to begin an immediate national search for Hansen’s replacement.