Otzelberger, Johnston, Stiegelmeier ink contracts



Andrew Holtan, Sports Reporter

Three South Dakota State head coaches received contract extensions at the end of December.

Football coach John Stiegelmeier signed a five-year extension that will keep him at SDSU through the 2023 season. Men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger and women’s basketball coach Aaron Johnston both signed four-year extensions and will remain at SDSU through the 2022-23 seasons.

Stiegelmeier will be entering his 23rd season at SDSU in 2019. He has a record of 158-99 for the Jacks and has taken them to the FCS Playoff Semifinals the last two seasons.

“You get asked all the time in recruiting about job security,” Stiegelmeier said. “For me, this extension is telling the university that I’m committed to them and they’re committed to me. There is also safety and security for the recruits and coaches as well.”

Many people have asked the question of when Stiegelmeier, who is turning 62 years-old Feb. 7, will retire. He said he hasn’t thought about it yet.

“I’ve told everyone that my goal is a national championship and I can say that and not flinch. I think when that happens I’ll think about answering that question,” Stiegelmeier said.

Otzelberger is in his third season right now and the Jacks are 14-6 overall and 4-1 in the Summit League. SDSU went to the NCAA Tournament in the first two seasons under Otzelberger.

“My family and I are extremely grateful,” Otzelberger said. “We love being in Brookings. It gives me a great feeling of stability as a husband and father and this isn’t just a stepping stone.”

Otzelberger added the extension helps with recruiting as well.

“The extension sends a great message to our team, but it also sends a message to the guys that we recruit that ‘this is something that is for the long term.’”

Johnston has done nothing but win since becoming the SDSU coach in 2000. He’s in his 19th season and has been to the NCAA Tournament in eight of the last 10 seasons. SDSU is 25-2 in Summit League Tournament game under Johnston.

“A.J. has built our women’s basketball program into one of the most successful, consistent and well-respected in the country,” SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell told GoJacks.com. “He is a great teacher of the game who has created a culture of excellence not only on the court but in the classroom and throughout our campus community.”

These three extensions bring stability to the three sports that gain the most revenue in the athletic department.