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Cobbers name veteran Grafton head coach Laurie Sieben women's basketball assistant

Longtime Grafton Spoilers head girls basketball coach Laurie Sieben has joined the Concordia Cobbers women's basketball program as an assistant coach.

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Former Grafton Spoilers head coach Laurie Sieben has joined the Concordia women's basketball program as an assistant coach.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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MOORHEAD — Former Grafton (N.D.) High School girls basketball coach Laurie Sieben didn't expect to remain retired after she stepped down from the Spoilers in March after 21 seasons leading the team.

Her retirement from coaching lasted only months.

Concordia Cobbers head women's basketball coach Kim Wagers named Sieben as an assistant coach Monday, June 6.

“I knew I wasn’t going to stay retired," Sieben said. “The right school came along and it just was really fitting and made sense for me. It kind of presented itself in the right way. Sometimes things happen like that when you’re not really pursuing it yourself.”

Sieben is a 1996 Concordia graduate who played two seasons for the Cobbers for head coach Robert Kohler. During her time as head coach at Grafton, she led the Spoilers to North Dakota Class B girls state championships in 2012 and 2021. Her teams also made the title game in 2020 and 2022.

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“Her experience and all the success that she’s had, how often do you get to hire someone with those types of credentials?," Wagers said. "She’s just so passionate about basketball and has so much energy. She’s so much fun to talk hoops with and any time you walk into the gym she’s just bouncing off the walls.”

Sieben takes over for Lindsey Halverson, who resigned earlier this spring for take a teaching job in Waubun, Minn. Sieben posted a 120-26 record over her final five seasons, including three consecutive trips to the state title game.

“It ended up being fate timing, where it happened to be where I was looking and she had stepped away and was looking for something new, too," Wagers said.

Sieben said Concordia proved to be the right fit with her daughter Carlee Sieben, who played at the University of North Dakota last season, recently transferring to Concordia. Cassie Sieben, Carlee's twin sister, plays for Mayville State University. Last season, Laurie Sieben said she juggled three calendars with her coaching duties at Grafton and Carlee's and Cassie's college basketball schedules.

“I really wanted to be available to see my daughters play," Laurie said. “I’m so grateful to extend my coaching and teaching journey at my (college) alma mater. ... With two daughters playing college basketball, geographically it had to make sense for me. I wanted it to be tied to the game.”

Sieben, from St. Thomas, N.D., posted a 356-147 overall record during her time leading the Spoilers. Wagers is excited to add a veteran coach with Sieben's success to the staff as the Cobbers work toward being title contenders in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Cobbers were 8-16 overall last season and 7-13 in the MIAC. Wagers is set to enter her fourth season as Concordia's head coach.

“She’s been super successful and that’s exciting, too," Wagers said. “From a recruiting standpoint, she knows probably every high school coach in North Dakota. She has been super active in high school basketball across the state. She will have instant credibility as far as the North Dakota side of things.”

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Sieben is set to begin her assistant coaching duties at Concordia in July.

"I’ve always loved what I’ve done. I’ve been so fortunate to do it at the high school level at Grafton (for so long)," Sieben said. “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to have that journey and enjoy that journey. ... To have the opportunity to do it on a new platform, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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