Darren Tighe Hired as Trojans New Men’s Head Basketball Coach

Dakota State University announced the hiring of Darren Tighe as the next Men’s Basketball Head Coach yesterday. 

Tighe will succeed long-time head coach Gary Garner, whose 198 victories is second all-time in DSU men’s basketball program history. Coach Garner retires after 50-plus years of coaching. 

Coach Tighe is no stranger to the NSAA, as he was the head coach for Mayville State from May 2017 through last fall. He finished his coaching career at MSU with a record of 92-42 (.687 winning percentage), which ranked second all-time in career wins and winning percentage at Mayville State.

Most recently, Tighe guided his 2021 Comet men’s basketball team to their first NSAA regular-season title and was selected the league’s Coach-of-the-Year.

During his first four years at Mayville State, Mayville State captured three consecutive NSAA postseason tournament titles and advanced to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Tournament three straight times. 

In his first year at Mayville State in 2017-28, his squad doubled the numbers of wins from the previous year and captured Mayville’s first-ever NSAA conference tournament title. That team qualified to the national tournament for the first time since 2007. As a result, Tighe was named the 2018 North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters Sports Writers Coach of the Year.

Tighe guided the Comets to two more NSAA conference tournament titles in 2019 and 2020 and advanced to the national tournaments in both seasons. Those squads registered back-to-back 20-win seasons. 

Tighe coached three NAIA Men’s Basketball All-America Honorable Mention athletes, one North Star Athletic Association Player-of-the-Year, and 11 NSAA All-Conference selections (4 First Team athletes, 3 Second Team athletes, and 4 Honorable Mention athletes).

Besides the accomplishments on the basketball court, Tighe’s squads excelled in the classrooms.  During his tenure, Mayville State had a team GPA of 3.0 or higher each year, including a 3.54 GPA in the fall of 2021.

Prior to coaching at Mayville State, Tighe was the head coach at Ridgewater Junior College in Willmar, Minn. He led Ridgewater to a 48-34 record, including a 20-win regular-season which broke the single-season school record.  He coached a two-time NJCAA Second Team All-American athlete during his tenure at Ridgewater.

Tighe holds a career collegiate coaching record of 140-76 (.648 winning percentage).

He will begin his duties immediately.