(Editor’s note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE – Longtime Dawson Community College rodeo coach Kortney Diegel has announced she is leaving to accept a teaching position at Jefferson Elementary School. Diegel has been head coach for the past seven years and was an assistant in the Rodeo program for six before that.
Including her time as a student-athlete at Dawson and the years she practiced with the Bucs while she was still in high school, Diegel has been around the program for over twenty years. She graduated from DCC and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana-Western.
“I cannot thank DCC enough for all that it has done for me over the last 20 years,” she said. “In today’s world I feel very fortunate to be able to have done something I loved for so many years and leave on my terms. It’s bittersweet to say the least. I am going to miss the college students, my co-workers, the NIRA coaches & staff, and everything else that coaching brought with it, but I am looking forward to getting to be there with my kids as they begin to travel for all their activities. I am excited to get back into the classroom, and I am excited for the future of the DCC Rodeo program.”
While coaching the Bucs, Diegel was voted Northern Rodeo Association Timer of the Year six times and was also named NIRA’s Big Sky Region Coach of the Year in 2016. This past season, two of her athletes finished in the top 15 in the Big Sky Region in their respective events, and her team had the highest GPA of all the athletic teams at DCC (3.45). Coach Diegel was beloved by her student-athletes who benefitted from her coaching, her compassion, and her mentorship. Her office almost always had at least a few students sitting on the couch, getting advice and encouragement.
In addition to coaching, Diegel has served in many roles at the college including recruiter, tutor, placement testing coordinator, Associated Student Body advisor, coordinator for the center for student learning/engagement, and student life coordinator.
“Kortney has been a vital part of DCC for so many years,” said AD Joe Peterson. “She has impacted the lives of many people while she served here. It’s hard to imagine this place without her being around on a daily basis. She has been so loyal to her alma mater, and I know she will still support the college and the rodeo program, but in different ways now. I’m excited for her new opportunity. It is coming at a perfect time in her life.”
DCC has already begun the search for Diegel’s replacement and plans to have someone hired before the start of school in August.