News Releases

Joel Lueken named new athletic director
Release Date Wednesday, April 16, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 16, 2014) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology announced today that Joel Lueken will be its next athletic director.  Lueken currently serves as associate athletic director for William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

Mines President Heather Wilson announced the appointment, effective June 2, at a Wednesday news conference.

“We are a full Division II member and new members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.  Joel helped William Jewell through its transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, and we look forward to his leadership as he takes Mines athletics to a new level,” Wilson said.  

Lueken will step into the role vacated by Dick Kaiser, who left July 31 for a position at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla., to be closer to family.  

“Tiffany McCampbell and Michael Gunn have done a great job this year as co-interim Athletic Directors.  Joel inherits a strong coaching staff in our athletic department that got Mines into the RMAC and has recruited scholar-athletes who are a great fit for our school.  All of our teams have higher GPA’s than the school at large.  Everyone stepped up, and I appreciate their leadership this year,” Wilson said.

Lueken brings 15 years of experience in day-to-day operations in college athletics. He joined William Jewell College in 2006 as athletic event management/assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator.  In 2009 he was named associate athletic director.  Prior to his time at William Jewell, he was head baseball coach/assistant women’s basketball coach/admissions recruiter for Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and was assistant baseball coach and transfer recruiting coordinator for Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.

The School of Mines is currently in its first year as a full member of NCAA Division II athletic competition and announced earlier this year it will join the RMAC.

“I want to thank President Wilson and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology for this great opportunity to lead the Hardrocker athletic department into the future.  I’m extremely excited to work with the coaches, staff and the campus community. June 2nd can’t come quick enough for me,” Lueken said.

He cited Mines exceptional academic setting and affordability for all students, along with university leadership as among reasons he accepted the position.

“Throughout the whole search and hiring process, everyone I spoke with had nothing but positive things to say about President Wilson and her ability to lead at Mines.  Administrative support is key to a successful athletic department,” he said.  “What a tremendous opportunity Mines offers students, not just athletes: a quality education, quality athletics and a tremendous return on their investment.”

Lueken was directly engaged in the transition of William Jewell College from NAIA to NCAA Division II status.  William Jewell is a small, well regarded, liberal arts college in Liberty, Mo., with a teacher-student ratio and academic emphasis similar to Mines.  

At William Jewell, Lueken managed the $4 million William Jewell athletic scholarship awards and was involved with day to day management of the Cardinal Athletic Fund and the creation of the Champions Circle organizations. Additionally, Lueken has been responsible for the implementation, daily administration and sustainability of the Jewell Athletic Corporate partnership program, a program designed to supplement athletic funding and invite community engagement for William Jewell College Athletics.  He also served on a task force to develop a plan to enhance community engagement in Liberty, Mo.

Lueken holds a Master of Science in health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri; Bachelor of Arts in history/political science from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas; and an associate’s degree from Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Tiffany McCampbell, head volleyball coach and senior women’s administrator/assistant athletic director, and Michael Gunn, Ph.D., associate provost for academic affairs and enrollment management, have served as co-interim athletic directors during the search process.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at