MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 4, 2018

Excitement surrounds the return of student athletes and all students as a new academic year begins

The summer has flown by! It’s hard to believe the student athletes have already begun to arrive on campus. The football team reported for pre-season camp on Aug. 3. The volleyball players will be on campus on Aug. 5. We are happy to see the student athletes at Mayville State and look forward to watching them in action in their respective sports.

There are 22 players on the volleyball roster. They are led by 11-year Mayville State head coach and Mayville State graduate Lindsey Johnson. Coach Johnson will be assisted by Mayville State graduates Michelle Warren and Katie Wangberg again this year.

The volleyball team will conclude pre-season activities when they head to Brunswick, Ga. to compete in the Coastal Georgia Tournament Aug. 17 and 18. The first home volleyball game is scheduled for Sept. 14, when the Comets will play Briar Cliff University.

Sean Thom will be in his second year as head coach for the Comets football team in 2018. Coach Thom and the team are excited to welcome Richard Kusisto and Taylor Kunkel (former Comets) to the coaching staff as quarterbacks and wide receivers coaches, respectively. The Comets also have a huge addition to their staff in defensive backs coach Rick Courtright, who will begin his duties immediately. He coached for the Arizona Cardinals from 2004 to 2011 and most recently served in defensive quality control at the University of Southern California, helping the Trojans to win a PAC-12 championship, as well as the Rose Bowl championship. Returning assistant coaches for football are Brian Quinn, Derek Bakken, Rod Oksendahl, Paul Whitaker, and Aaron Johnson.

While coaches are still recruiting, they expect about 95 players to report for camp. The football team’s first game for 2018 will be on Saturday, Aug. 25, when the Comets will play Montana State University-Northern in Havre, Mont. The first home game of the year will be Sept. 8 versus the College of St. Scholastica. This will be the first game to be played on the new artificial turf and the Farmers Bowl.

Sept. 8 will be a big day in Mayville! The MSU Foundation has a number of fun and exciting activities planned as part of the annual Farmers Bowl celebration. We hope you’ll spend the day with us, beginning with the “Farmers Bowl Field Frenzy 5K” run/walk, followed by the parade at 10 a.m. The traditional corn and hot dog feed outside of Jerome Berg Field will begin immediately following the parade. There will be a number of activities outside of Jerome Berg Field from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a farmers market, face painting, inflatable games, and much more! See more about Farmers Bowl at

There will be an official ribbon-cutting at the entrance to Jerome Berg Field at 11 a.m., when the beautiful new artificial turf will be revealed. A program dedicating the new turf field will be held at half time of the game.  

As the school year progresses, we look forward to seeing the other Comets sports teams in action. Dennis Hutter is returning for his 14th season as the head coach of the women’s basketball team. Darren Tighe will be in his second year as head men’s basketball coach. He will be assisted by Alex Herman. Mayville State alumna Ashley Tomblin will return for her sixth year as head coach of the women’s fastpitch softball team. Her assistants are Comet alumni Sonja Bilden and Megan Rabe. Scott Berry will return for his 36th year as head baseball coach. Billy Tomblin, Matt Piker, Matthew Tomblin, Austin Monson, and Jalen Hashbarger are assistant baseball coaches.

We’re looking forward to a promising year in Comet athletics. We invite you to attend Mayville State’s games whenever you can. The game schedules for the teams can be found on the Mayville State University Athletics website at

Student athletes will be moving into the residence halls at various times over the next couple of weeks. All other students can move into the halls on Saturday, Aug. 18. Classes will begin at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, and the first full day of classes for the fall semester is Tuesday, Aug. 21. If you’re interested in attending Mayville State this fall, it’s not too late. Please contact the Office of Admissions at 701-788-4842 or