Coughlin-Alumni Stadium: The end of an era at South Dakota State

DREW CARROLL Managing Editor

The South Dakota State University football team has come to the end of an era.

 The team played in the confines of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium for the past 54 seasons, and now that stadium is being torn down and dug up to make room for Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

 “Coughlin-Alumni Stadium was a fantastic stadium for a number of years. People understand it’s time to move forward.” Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations Jeff Holm said.

 Work started on Monday to remove the fiberglass and wood benches and the metal frames, and that work should be completed by the end of this week, Holm said. The restrooms and the concession stand underneath the concrete structure of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium will be demolished this week. On Nov. 16, the remaining concrete will start to be knocked down with a crane.

 “It will be a slow process. They will not knock very much off at a time because of the new construction going up,” Holm said. “It will probably be a three-week process before the whole thing is down.”

 If the Jackrabbits are able to host a playoff game this post-season, Holm said that he has a plan approved by the NCAA to move the game from Coughlin-Alumni to Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. Holm is not sure how the move will affect the attendance at the game, but Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said he is confident his team will not be affected by the change of location.

 “We’re going to make it our home. We will go down there and practice; we will stay down there,” Stiegelmeier said. “We won’t bus down there the day of the game because it’s a playoff game, you know, you’re not going to stress your players out. When we walked into Youngstown Stadium, two or three weeks ago, we said, ‘Let’s take it over,’ and I don’t know if we did that entirely, but we had that mentality, so why not right down the road here in Sioux Falls.”