Minnesota born, South Dakota transplant

I’m Andrew Holtan, the new sports editor at The Collegian. 

 I am a junior journalism major and have worked at the Collegian for two years covering volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. 

I have had many great opportunities in the last two years including going to the Summit League Basketball Tournament both years. At those events, I watched both the men’s and women’s teams win the tournament. Last year, I traveled to Spokane, Washington, to cover the men in the NCAA Tournament which was an amazing experience.

I grew up in Eagan, Minnesota, which is about 20 minutes southeast of the Twin Cities. If you know how Minnesota sports teams have done for the last 20 years then you know my pain. Whether it be the Vikings, Wild, Twins or Timberwolves, all of them have have made me angry beyond belief.

My favorite sports to watch as a kid were college basketball and football. My dad had season tickets for the University of Minnesota basketball team and season tickets for the football team until this year. Both of them have been terrible to average my whole life.

Coming to South Dakota State, I knew that they were pretty good at basketball because I watched them when they were in the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12 and 2012-13. I also knew they were sort of good at football because of Zach Zenner, who is from my hometown. I did not know that they were a top 10 FCS team. 

The thing that surprised me most after coming here, was how passionate both the students and the community are when following the Jacks. A Missouri Valley Football Conference game has the same feel as a Big Ten football game but just on a smaller scale. I would argue that the Summit League Basketball Tournament environment is the same, if not better, than most of the major conferences.

My objective as the sports editor of The Collegian is to look more into how players and coaches are off the field or court rather than their performances. Everybody follows the teams knows who the players are but not many know what their story is outside of playing and I’m looking to bring that to you. 

Last year I wrote a story on Deondre Parks, a basketball player who graduated this past spring. I wrote about his life before he got to SDSU. Sitting down with him and listening to him talk about the struggle he faced growing up in Flint, Michigan, was one of the most interesting things I had ever done. It was also rewarding because I wrote it before the season started whereas most other news outlets didn’t tell the story until the end of the season.

My goal is to give you the outcomes but also stories of the athletes who create those outcomes. I am looking forward to bringing a different kind of perspective on sports.