Brent Bargen, the head men’s basketball coach at Chadron State College for a decade beginning in 2006, died Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was 49.
A funeral service will be Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln. The family has requested memorials in lieu of flowers to the Nebraska Fellowship of Christian Athletes or a memorial scholarship at Doane University.
Bargen, a native of Crete, Nebraska, resigned from Chadron State College in 2016 following the Eagles’ season. He and his wife, Leslie, a former Development Officer for the Chadron State Foundation, relocated to Lincoln that summer. For the past three years, Bargen owned and operated Handyman Connection, a home improvement and repair service in Lincoln.
At Chadron State, Bargen posted a career record of 78-184 to become the sixth-winningest coach in men’s basketball history. He coached 15 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference performers and 11 others received all-academic honors. His best season came in 2011-12 when CSC won 13 games, clinched the school’s first non-losing regular season since 2001, and advanced to the RMAC playoffs.
Bargen was an instrumental figure in many of his players’ lives, an entertaining and well-regarded speaker at booster club events, and an advocate for Chadron State College’s Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Bargen was proud of his time at CSC. In the press release announcing his resignation, he said “… we did things the right way during my tenure. Thanks to all the players who trusted us with their careers and the staff members who assisted me in the battle at CSC.”
Bargen played basketball at Doane College and then had coaching stops at Dorchester High School and Nebraska Wesleyan, before working at Kansas State University for five years. In Manhattan, he was an assistant coach, administrative assistant, and director of basketball operations. He also served as the team’s academic counselor. Following Kansas State, Bargen became an assistant coach at Long Beach State University for six years before being named CSC’s head coach.
Bargen is survived by his wife, Leslie, and three children, Ashley, Zac, and Jake. Both Ashley and Zac were student-athletes at CSC before graduating.