South Dakota State Football head coach John Stiegelmeier is coming out on top.
After 26 seasons as head coach in Brookings, South Dakota, Stiegelmeier announced his retirement Thursday, nearly two weeks after winning the Jackrabbits’ First FCS Championship.
«(Wife) Laurie and I, with our family, want to thank South Dakota State University and the SDSU Athletics for having the blessing of serving as head football coach,» Stiegelmeier said in a statement on SDSU’s website.
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«During our 26 years in this role, lifelong memories have been produced. The support of so many, including three college presidents, numerous assistant coaches, countless student-athletes, two sports directors and the Jackrabbit fan base has been very special. Thank you to each and every one of you who have believed in us.»
SDSU defeated State of North Dakota 45-21 in the FCS championship game for the school’s first playoff win over NDSU.
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From 1997 to 2022, Stiegelmeier compiled a 199-112 record and helped the Jackrabbits make the jump from Division II to the FCS in 2004.
«Simply put, South Dakota State University is a better place because of John and Laurie Stiegelmeier,» said director of athletics Justin Sell. “Their impact goes far beyond wins and losses or championships for the family culture they have fostered throughout their time here and for building a program based on character, hard work and excellence in all areas.”
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Stiegelmeier will be succeeded by defensive coordinator Jimmy Rogers, who becomes the 21st coach in SDSU history.
He retires as the winningest coach in program history after posting a winning record in 22 of 26 seasons as head coach.
«I want to thank John and Laurie for all they have done for South Dakota State University during a career that has spanned more than three decades,» said SDSU President Barry Dunn. «Trainer Stig’s record will speak for itself and win a national championship in his endgame it’s a storybook ending to an incredible run.
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«More importantly, he had a positive impact on hundreds of young people, empowering them to succeed in the classroom, on the field, and in life. He did this by exemplifying our university’s core values every day. Coach Stig’s Legacy he is one of greatness, and those lucky enough to be around him have benefited from how he lives and his ability to be a positive influence on everyone.»