Kurtenbach Named New Esports Head Coach at Wayne State College

WAYNE, Neb. - Wayne State College announced the hiring of Drew Kurtenbach as the college’s new Esports head coach. 

WSC competes in collegiate Esports through the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC). Esports is part of a robust collection of club sports and intramural activities that are strong components of the extracurricular experience at Wayne State.

Kurtenbach, a native of Omaha, comes to WSC from Chadron State College where he was the Esports coach last year. Kurtenbach graduated from CSC with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

He served as president of Phi Beta Lambda and vice president of Eagle Esports (CSC’s Esports Club). As CSC’s Esports coach, Kurtenbach’s varsity Rocket League team went 9-3 last year during the regular season.

The varsity Call of Duty team went undefeated until the division finals, and the Fortnite team had multiple duos qualify for national finals.

Kurtenbach said his biggest accomplishment was growing the program as a whole by providing some small scholarships, establishing an Esports room for practice and competition, and giving students a chance to compete at the collegiate level.

“I’m extremely grateful to Wayne State College for the opportunity to lead its Esports program,” Kurtenbach said. “Wayne State Esports has been in existence for just a few years, and it’s already established itself as a top tier program with some of the most elite players in the region.”

Nick Sutton, the previous Wayne State Esports coach, was a mentor to me and he helped me turn my passion for Esports into my career,” Kurtenbach said. “Without him, I couldn’t have accomplished my goals. I’m anxious build on the foundation he established, and solidify a tradition of excellence for Wayne State Esports.”

John Schwarte, who oversees intramural sports, club sports, and Esports at Wayne State as campus recreation coordinator, said the college’s Esports arena, The Den, has been a tremendous asset in recruiting Esports athletes to WSC.

The arena features 12 high-end PCs and all the necessary accessories the team uses for practice and competition, along with flat-screen television displays for spectator viewing during competitions. Located on the lower level of the Kanter Student Center, this exclusive space is for Esports athletes only.

“I am excited to bring Drew onto campus to be our next head Esports coach,” Schwarte said. “He is dedicated to the growth and success of our program, both in the competitive scene as well as academically.”

About 75 students currently compete in Esports at Wayne State. Kurtenbach will lead Wayne State’s Esports team in competition in games such as Call of Duty, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros (Ultimate), and Valorant in NECC events, and additional games offered competitively through other tournaments and leagues.

The NECC has sponsored both regular season competition and championships across a wide variety of popular titles since 2020. With more than 300 colleges and universities currently competing, the NECC strives to be a positive home for the collegiate gaming community.

The NECC fosters innovative competition experiences, provides quality broadcasting services, and works to support an inclusive community within collegiate esports. The NECC was started as a way to provide the collegiate gaming community with the respect it warranted and deserved. The conference prides itself on responding to the needs of its schools, directors, coaches, and most importantly - its players.

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