Mustang Coaching Staff
Head Coach Jim Sykes
Jim Sykes has put together one of the most impressive coaching resumes in Morningside history since he was promoted to the position of head coach in January of the 2003-04 campaign.
Sykes has a career record of 305-158 for a .659 winning percentage for the most victories and the highest victory rate in Morningside men’s basketball history. He has led the Mustangs to 12 winning seasons in the last 15 years, including eight 20-win campaigns, six NAIA Division II National Tournament berths, five Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season championships and three GPAC Post-Season Tournament championships.
Sykes was named the 2017-18 GPAC Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the fourth time in his career, after he guided the Mustangs to a 28-7 record, GPAC regular season and post-season tournament championships in the same season for the first time in school history and the quarterfinals of the NAIA II National Tournament. He also earned GPAC Coach of the Year honors in 2015, 2008 and 2004. His 2014-15 team posted a 28-5 record, won a GPAC regular season co-championship and advanced to the second round of the NAIA II National Tournament. His 2007-08 team finished 29-4 to set a school record for victories, won the GPAC regular season title with a 16-2 league mark and was ranked No. 1 in the nation much of the season. Sykes received the GPAC Coach of the Year award for the first time in his career in 2004 when he took over as interim head coach and led the Mustangs to a 9-3 finish over their final 12 games to share the GPAC regular season championship with Northwestern.
Sykes directed the Mustangs to consecutive GPAC regular season championships in 2007-08 and 2008-09. His 2008-09 team finished with a 24-8 record and went 15-3 in the GPAC to repeat as league champion despite the graduation losses of seven seniors, including four starters, from the previous season. His 2005-06 and 2013-14 teams both won GPAC Post-Season Tournament titles to secure national tournament berths. Sykes guided the Mustangs to NAIA II National Tournament appearances in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2018. Morningside reached the Elite Eight of the 2006 and 2018 NAIA II National Tournaments and advanced to the second round of the 2008 and 2009 national tourneys.
He was named the Mustangs' head coach on March 29, 2004, after he led the Mustangs to a strong second half finish during the 2003-04 season while serving as the team's head coach on an interim basis. Sykes, who was in his third year as the Mustangs' top assistant coach, took over the program on an interim basis after former head coach Jerry Schmutte took a medical leave of absence.
The Mustangs posted a 9-3 record under Sykes en route to an 18-13 finish and a 14-4 record in the GPAC to share the league's regular season championship with Northwestern College. Sykes earned the 2004 GPAC Coach of the Year award for his efforts. The Mustangs, who had finished 10-22 during the 2002-03 campaign, were the surprise team of the GPAC after they had been tabbed for a 12th place finish in the conference coaches’ pre-season poll.
Sykes guided the Mustangs to a 20-11 record in 2004-05 for the college's first 20-win season since 1994-95.
Sykes came to Morningside from Waverly, Neb., where he had been a coach at Waverly High School for 10 years. He was an assistant coach for Waverly's varsity boy's basketball and football teams and was a junior high school track coach. Sykes helped lead Waverly to a berth in Nebraska's 1995 Class B state basketball tournament.
Sykes graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1989.
Assistant Coach Trent Miller
Trent Miller became the Mustangs' top assistant coach in June 2017.
Miller, a 2014 Morningside graduate, was previously a student assistant coach at Morningside in the 2013-14 season and the Mustangs’ head junior varsity coach in the 2015-16 campaign. Miller taught at Elkhorn Public Schools in Nebraska in 2014-15 and served as the varsity assistant basketball coach at Elkhorn High School.
Miller was a three-year starter during his playing career at Morningside and is the Mustangs’ all-time leader with 514 career assists and 235 career steals. Miller, who averaged 4.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game during his Morningside career, earned second-team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) honors as a junior and senior and was the 2013 GPAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Miller led the GPAC in assists as a sophomore, junior and senior and topped the league in steals as a sophomore and junior. Miller dealt a school-record 194 assists and ranked seventh nationally with an average of 6.1 assists per game in his 2012-13 senior campaign. He set a school record with 79 steals and ranked fifth in the nation with an average of 2.5 steals per game as a junior.
He earned second-team Class B all-state honors from the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal-Star as a senior and was an Omaha World-Herald second-team all-stater as a junior during his prep career at Gretna High School in Nebraska.
Assistant Coach Russ Fuchser
Russ Fuchser joined the Mustangs coaching staff for the 2013-14 season following a highly successful career as both a boys and girls basketball assistant coach at South Sioux City High School.
Fuchser, who remains a physical education instructor in the South Sioux City school system, helped lead the Cardinals to Nebraska state championships in both boys and girls basketball.
He was a girls basketball assistant coach at South Sioux City from 1993-2005. During those 12 seasons he helped lead the Lady Cardinals to 10 state championships and one runner-up finish. That success enabled him to be named as an assistant coach on the 2005 McDonalds All-America Team and he received an Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2002. As a girls basketball coach at South Sioux City, Fuchser helped coach future Morningside women’s basketball players Mindy Durant and Trish Martin.
Fuchser joined the South Sioux City boys basketball coaching staff in 2009. In five years as a Cardinal assistant coach, he helped lead the team to three state championships and one runner-up finish.
Assistant Coach Tim Van Peursem
Tim Van Peursem joined the Mustangs’ coaching staff for the 2017-18 season.
Van Peursem has over 10 years of coaching experience at the high school level. He was an assistant girls basketball and junior varsity girls basketball head coach at Sioux City East for the past six seasons and was the freshman girls basketball coach at East from 2003-12.
His coaching career began at Sioux City North High School, where he was an assistant coach for the Stars’ sophomore boys basketball team from 2001-03.
He graduated from Briar Cliff College in 2000 with a degree in business finance. Van Peursem is a 1996 graduate of Sioux City North High School.
Student Assistant Coach Kyle Kommes