Mark Adkins, Sports Information Director
SIOUX CITY – Morningside College Director of Athletics Tim Jager announced Monday, June 24, that Michael McLaughlin has been named head men’s and women’s tennis coach. The Mustangs’ athletic department also released information on new assistant hires for football and wrestling and a slight change to cheer and dance coaching.
Earning his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in mathematics, education, and engineering from the LeTourneau University of Longview, Tex., in May 2016, McLaughlin has established himself well on the tennis courts as a player and coach. He was an assistant coach for his alma mater from August 2016 to May 2018 and also served as an assistant at Snead State Community College of Boaz, Ala., from August 2018 to May 2019.
As an NCAA Division III athlete, McLaughlin finished his playing career tied for sixth all-time in career wins for singles (37) and ninth all-time in career doubles wins (38) for LETU. Three times during his career, he was named to the American Southwest Conference All-Academic Honor Roll for his efforts in the classroom. In the summer of 2016, McLaughlin was recognized as an ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Scholar-Athlete. As a senior, along with teammate Morgan Weaver, they were named second-team all-ASC East Division at No. 1 doubles. During his junior year, his win in the first round of the ASC Tournament propelled the YellowJackets to a spot in the quarterfinals. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Tournament Team. As a freshman, he along with Josh Bailley were named honorable mention all-ASC East Division at No. 3 doubles.
*Jager also announced that the athletic department’s cheer and dance and cheerleading coaching roles, previously both held by Alisha Steckler, will be split beginning in 2019-20. Steckler will be the dance head coach with Dakota Van Hauen handling duties for the cheerleading squad.
“This arrangement allows more flexibility for both myself and Alisha when it comes to practice schedules and so forth,” Van Hauen said.
“To the outsider, it may look a little different,” Steckler said. “However, it’s pretty much what we’ve been trying to do recently. It’ll allow us to have more focused opportunities within each program … giving us the chance to keep building and building on the success we’ve had.
*Two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ All-American Keegan Hessler has joined head wrestling coach Jake Stevenson’s staff as an assistant. Hessler, competing for the Mustangs, wound up his collegiate career taking fourth at the NAIA Championships in 2019 to go along with a sixth-place effort in 2017.
*Former defensive standout and previous defensive assistant coach Darius Hicks is returning to the Mustangs’ football coaching roster. He was on head coach Steve Ryan’s staff from 2014-17 holding down roles as a student coach and defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator. Hicks journeyed to NCAA Division II Emporia State University in 2018-19 where he was the cornerbacks coach and assistant special teams coordinator. In his playing days for the Mustangs, Hicks was an all-Great Plains Athletic Conference honoree as a senior and played on a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ national runner-up team as a junior.