GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota men’s basketball head coach Brian Jones announced on Monday that he has filled out his staff by naming Shawn Dirden to his vacant assistant coaching post. A coaching veteran at both the collegiate and prep ranks, Dirden most recently served in a similar capacity at Big Sky rival Montana State for the past two seasons.
“We are excited to welcome Shawn into our basketball family,” Jones said. “He will add immediate value from a recruiting and player development standpoint. The fact that he knows what it takes to be successful in the Big Sky Conference will allow us to keep moving forward in year three in this great league.
“I’ve been blessed to have had very good assistant coaches during my tenure here at UND and like those before him, Shawn is going to be able to leave a positive imprint within our program, university and community.”
Dirden is no stranger to Big Sky basketball, having both played in the league as a standout at Idaho for two seasons (1995-97) and serving two stints at MSU (2006-08 and 2012-14) as an assistant coach alongside North Dakota native Brad Huse.
Following his playing career with the Vandals, Dirden played professionally overseas through the 2002 season before embarking on his coaching career as the head coach at George Washington High School in Denver, Colo.
“Coming over from Montana State and being really familiar with the Big Sky and UND’s athletics programs, I am super excited to be here with Coach Jones,” Dirden said. “As a competitor and competing against these guys for the past two years, I was always impressed with them.
“This is an opportunity that my family and I are excited to be a part of and I’m excited to be here to help these young men continue to grow and become better players and individuals.”
Dirden moved into the collegiate ranks prior to the 2006-07 season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa before moving onto his initial stint in Bozeman under Huse. After two seasons with the Bobcats, Dirden returned to prep basketball for three seasons, leading the Cherokee Trail High School program in Aurora, Colo., for three seasons. Dirden’s next job was back in Division I basketball as an assistant coach at South Dakota.
Dieden was with the Coyotes, who were Great West rivals of UND at the time, from 2009-11 before returning to Bozeman and the Big Sky for the 2011-12 season. That first campaign was also UND’s first in the Big Sky Conference.
Dirden and his wife, Sierra, have two children and his father, Johnnie, played three seasons in the NFL.
— Go UND —