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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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 www.sdsmt.edu, on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on
Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.