More sports staff gives Jackrabbits extra help

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

With the additional duties pressed on the SDSU athletic departments, the athletic administration hired additional help to make the coming years easier on everybody on the athletic staff.

“Adding additions to staff are necessary, especially as you continue to grow, because there are more things that people are doing, and we need to continue to grow our department,” SDSU associate athletic director Rob Peterson said.

Mark Burgers, former Creighton director of sales, has taken the role of associate athletic director in charge of external affairs. He will take care of tickets, sports information and marketing and promotion.

“The hiring of Mark Burgers to come here and work on our development side, or our external side, is certainly a good addition,” Peterson said.

Burgers, a native of De Smet, SD, played golf at Creighton and spent nine years working in the school’s athletic department.

The younger brother of Mike Burgers, SDSU’s coordinator of athletic development, he helped the Bluejays sell 12,888 season tickets for men’s basketball this season, while six years earlier the attendance was only 6, 613.

Kathy Heylens will take the senior women’s administrator duties while she also moves from compliance officer to associate athletic director for compliance.

Jenna Friedrich, recently a budget analyst with the state government, has been hired to fill the newly created position of assistant athletic director in charge of budget. This will relieve some of the financial responsibilities on Peterson.

At the end of the fourth and final year of the Division I reclassification process, the hirings mark a significant addition of assistance.

“The hiring of Jenna Friedrich to come in and assist and just managing the day to day operations of the budget, that’s going to prove very helpful to me and things that I do,” Peterson said.

The new hires will certainly help SDSU, though they still have vacancies for assistant coaches in volleyball and track, a facility manager, an equipment manager and others the department plans to create in the future.