WATCH: Grafton's Laurie and Carlee Sieben working together again as coach, player at Concordia

Laurie Sieben won a state title with her daughters in 2021. Two years after that championship, and 21 years after becoming the head coach in Grafton, she's coaching family again.

Concordia’s Carlee Sieben walks onto the court with her mother, assistant coach Laurie Sieben, and her father Brian Sieben during halftime at their basketball game against Gustavus on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Concordia’s Memorial Auditorium in Moorhead.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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MOORHEAD — It was a storybook end to the 2021 state tournament for the Sieben family: Mom Laurie coaching twin daughters Carlee and Cassie to Grafton's second state title in their senior year.

In 2022 they went their separate ways. Laurie coached the Spoilers to another state tournament and Carlee took the floor for the University of North Dakota.

“I've been doing it for 25 years, so Carlee's seen me do it her whole entire life," Laurie said. "Carlee really embraced her year at UND, so it's just amazing what the game does bring: the relationships.

In March, Laurie stepped away after 21 years at the helm of Grafton girls basketbal. One month later, Carlee entered the transfer portal and landed at Concordia.

‘I really had good year at UND," Carlee said. "I loved teammates, I loved my coaches but when the end of the year came I really just wanted the opportunity to play and make most out of my college basketball years.”


Meanwhile Laurie was looking for her next adventure.

“I have to be honest. I was getting a little bit nervous, because as a coach, I love practice. I love being in the gym," Laurie said."

One month after Carlee transferred, Laurie got a phone call.

“Middle of May, end of May, coach [Kim] Wagers needed a full-time assistant," Laurie said. "She reached out and said, 'Would this be something you would ever entertain?' When she asked if I would entertain it, I went to my family, Carlee and my daughter Cassie, and my husband and said, 'What would you think of this?' They just looked at me like, 'Mom, yeah. That's what you need to do.'"

“We were driving to lake and I heard her talking through it and I was like, 'What!?” and I was really excited and like, 'Yes, you need to take that,'” Carlee said.

A reunion with her daughter, and a chance to get back into coaching at a school she graduated from in 1996.

“I played two years here at Concordia and then moved into the coaching world from here," Laurie said. "My coach [Bob] Kohler really was an advocate for that.”

Talk about full circle.


“We got to have a lot of success along the way in Grafton. Along with success, we got a lot of years of making relationships and that’s what it’s about," Laurie said. "I'm just excited to get another new platform and another opportunity to grow and I get to have a front row seat with my daughter and her very special group of gals.”

“She’s been my coach since kindergarten all the way through high school, so I have really never known something different from having her as my coach," Carlee said. "People ask me, 'Is it weird having your mom at college or as your coach?' No, because it’s always been like that.”

Cullen Holt is a sports anchor and reporter for WDAY News, while handling play-by-play duties for high school and select college sports.
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