Wagner named next MSU softball head coach

Nat Wagner has been named the Minot State head softball coach, Director of Athletics Andy Carter announced on Monday.

Wagner becomes the sixth head coach in program history since the 1971 season.

“I could not be more excited to add Nat Wagner to our team,” Carter said in a press release. “His passion for teaching, coaching and recruiting is a great fit for our culture at Minot State. I have all the confidence that the future of our softball program is in great hands.”

Wagner arrives at Minot State after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Augustana. In the three-year span, he helped lead the program to a 143-42 record with three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and Top 25 finishes, including winning the 2019 NCAA DII National Championship.

“I want to thank Andy Carter, President Shirley and the entire Minot State community for the opportunity to join the MSU family,” said Wagner. “To serve this institution and these athletes as a head coach is a dream come true. I am excited to build on the recent success of the program and help our student-athletes forge a winning culture and share in superb team experience. Minot is a special place, and I am honored to contribute to the athletic and academic culture here.”

As a primary hitting instructor and first base coach, Wagner led the Vikings to repeatedly break school records in batting average, stolen bases and runs scored.

Off the field, he served as lead recruiting coordinator, corresponding with recruits and coordinating visits while leading youth clinics, fundraising drives and community outreach for the program.

Prior to Augustana, Wagner served as an assistant coach at Valley City State for one season, helping implement a winning culture and leading the team to a record number of wins in his first season.

He assisted with all aspects of athlete preparation for competition as a lead catching coordinator.

Wagner began his coaching career as a head coach at New Prague High School in New Prague, Minn. In two years, he turned the program around and led the team to its first conference title and state tournament appearance in school history.

With the quick turnaround, Wagner was selected as Conference Coach of the Year in 2014 and Section Coach of the Year in 2015.

Minot State finished the 2019 season with a 26-23 overall record while clinching an NSIC Tournament berth for the third consecutive season.

— MSU athletics