Esports (starting in fall 2019!)

Carl Sandburg College announced in January 2019 that it would form an intercollegiate esports team starting with the 2019-20 academic year, making it the first community college in Illinois and among the first two-year schools in the country to offer a varsity gaming team.

The team will have four talent scholarships to be awarded to students and a new gaming “arena” on campus for practice and competition. At the time of Sandburg’s announcement to start an esports program, only four other schools in Illinois offered such a team.

Sandburg will be affiliated with the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), which has more than 100 member schools since forming in 2016. With more than 130 members schools and 3,000 student-athletes, NACE programs have provided more than $15 million in esports scholarships and aid.

NACE logo
National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE)

Coaching Staff

Kirk Mustain

Head Coach

Kirk Mustain

Kirk Mustain was hired in March 2019 as Carl Sandburg College’s first-ever esports coach following the College’s announcement in January that it would form an intercollegiate team to begin play for the 2019-20 academic year.

Mustain boasts an extensive background with technology, including his current full-time position as a computer science and IT teacher at Williamsfield High School. He helped Williamsfield form its own esports team and has coached it the last two years.

Mustain also is an adjunct instructor for classes in Sandburg’s information and communication technology program and was an instructor for the College’s youth coding camps in the summer of 2018. He also serves as president of the travel soccer club FC Galesburg and as the Knox County YMCA’s junior high soccer coordinator.

“I am very excited to be part of history with Sandburg’s first esports team,” Mustain said. “I’m looking forward to combining my experience with sports administration, technology, coaching and teaching to make for a great first season.”


Assistant Coach

Ryan Wessling

Ryan Wessling has played video games throughout his life, with his first competitive gaming experience coming during the inaugural seasons of the Esports Club at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Wessling is a chemistry teacher at Knoxville High School and helped start the esports teams at KHS, which competes in the High School Esports League. He also is an assistant for Sandburg’s men’s soccer team.

Wessling, also an assistant for Sandburg’s men’s soccer team, will help head coach Kirk Mustain with strategy, particularly in “League of Legends.”