South Dakota State football coach John Stiegelmeier retires after 26 seasons


Zoey Schentzel

Jacks coach John Stiegelmeier hoists the national championship trophy after SDSU’s 45-21 win against NDSU in the FCS national title game. It would prove to be Stiegelmeier’s final game as head coach of the Jackrabbits.

Skyler Jackson, Co-Sports Editor (He/Him)

South Dakota State football coach John Stiegelmeier announced his retirement Thursday afternoon, ending a 26-year reign of leading the team at his alma mater.

Stiegelmeier posted a 199-112 record (.640 winning percentage), including a winning record in 22 of his 26 seasons and 12 appearances in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

He led the Jackrabbits to their first-ever national championship last season after going 14-1 overall and 8-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. They won their first outright conference title and dominated their way through the playoffs, capped off by a 45-21 win over North Dakota State in the national title game.

Stiegelmeier served as a student coach in 1979, SDSU’s only Division II playoff season. He returned to Brookings in 1988 as an assistant coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1991. In 1997, Stiegelemeier was hired as the head coach.

Longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jimmy Rogers will take over as the 21st head coach in Jackrabbit football history.

Rogers played under Stiegelmeier from 2006-2009 and was the longest-tenured assistant on the coaching staff last season. He was promoted to defensive coordinator last year and the SDSU defense had the top rushing defense (88.1 yards per game) and third-ranked scoring defense (15.8 points per game) in the FCS.

Rogers’ introductory press conference will be held Friday at 10 a.m. Live coverage of it will be available on the SDSU Athletics YouTube channel and Jackrabbit Sports Network.