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South Dakota State Jackrabbits football

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits football team is a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) program that competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. SDSU is considered to be among the few perennial powers in the FCS, The Jackrabbits were a NCAA Division II program in the North Central Conference until moving to the Football Championship Subdivision in 2004. The current head coach is John Stiegelmeier. In March 2007, SDSU initially began their Division I FCS era by being a charter member of the now-defunct Great West Football Conference (along with North Dakota State, Southern Utah, Cal Poly, UC Davis, Northern Colorado) and stayed there until 2007 when they were accepted into the Missouri Valley Football Conference and began league play in the 2008 season. South Dakota State University has invested in their football program's facilities recently as they have some of the finest amenities and facilities at the FCS level including the largest video/scoreboard in the FCS (2015) a new 19,340 seat stadium (2016), and a large state-of-the-art student athlete center in the north end zone (2010). Connected to the student athlete center is one of the largest indoor practice facilities in NCAA Division I (completed in 2014).

South Dakota State Jackrabbits football
2019 South Dakota State Jackrabbits football team
South Dakota State University logo.svg
First season1900
Athletic directorJustin Sell
Head coachJohn Stiegelmeier
23nd season, 158–101 (.610)
StadiumDana J. Dykhouse Stadium
(Capacity: 19,340)
Year built2016
Field surfaceTurf
LocationBrookings, South Dakota
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceMissouri Valley
Past conferencesNCC (1922–2003), Great West (2004–2007)
All-time record571–450–38 (.557)
Playoff record8–8
Conference titles
  • NCC (14)
    1922, 1924, 1925, 1933, 1939, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963
  • GWC (1)
  • MVFC (1)
RivalriesNorth Dakota State (rivalry)
South Dakota (rivalry)
North Dakota
ColorsBlue and Yellow[1]
Fight songRing the Bell
MascotJack Rabbit
Marching bandThe Pride of the Dakotas
NCAA FCS Playoff Appearances(8) 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
WebsiteJackrabbit Football



  • 1952–1972: NCAA College Division
  • 1973–2003: NCAA Division II
  • 2004–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS

Conference affiliationsEdit

Players in the National Football LeagueEdit

A total of 34 Jackrabbits have played for NFL teams, including four currently.[when?][citation needed]

28 Jackrabbits have been drafted in the NFL Draft. Jim Langer is the only Jackrabbit, and the only North Central Conference football player, to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Record versus Missouri Valley Football ConferenceEdit

Jim Langer
2x Super Bowl Champion,
SDSU's sole NFL Hall of Famer
Rival Record (W–L–T) Winning Percentage
Illinois State 4–6 .400
Indiana State 7–2 .714
Missouri State 10–1 .857
North Dakota State 41–60–5 .412
Northern Iowa 21–28–1 .406
South Dakota 55–52–7 .500
Southern Illinois 5–3 .500
Western Illinois 10–4 .666
Youngstown State 13–6 .647

FCS Playoffs resultsEdit

The Jackrabbits have appeared in the FCS playoffs eight times with an overall record of 8–8.[when?][citation needed]

Year Round Opponent Result
2009 First Round Montana L 48–61
2012 First Round
Second Round
Eastern Illinois
North Dakota State
W 58–10
L 3–28
2013 First Round
Second Round
Northern Arizona
Eastern Washington
W 26–7
L 17–41
2014 First Round
Second Round
Montana State
North Dakota State
W 47–40
L 24–27
2015 First Round Montana L 17–24
2016 Second Round
North Dakota State
W 10–7
L 10–36
2017 Second Round
Northern Iowa
New Hampshire
James Madison
W 37–22
W 56–14
L 16-51
2018 Second Round
Kennesaw State
North Dakota State
W 51-6
W 27–17
L 21–44

Division II Playoffs resultsEdit

The Jackrabbits have appeared in the Division II playoffs one time with an overall record of 0–1.[citation needed]

Year Round Opponent Result
1979 Quarterfinals Youngstown State L 7–51

Head coachesEdit

# Coach Tenure
1 Morrison 1900
2 L. L. Gilkey 1901
3 J. Harrison Werner 1903
4 William Blaine 1904
5 William Juneau 1905–1908
6 Jason M. Saunderson 1909–1910
7 Fred Johnson 1911
8 Harry W. Ewing 1912–1917
9 No team 1918
10 Charles A. West 1919–1927
11 Cy Kasper 1928–1933
12 Red Threlfall 1934–1937
13 Jack V. Barnes 1938–1940
14 Thurlo McCrady 1941–1946
15 Ralph Ginn 1947–1968
16 Dave Kragthorpe 1969
17 Dean Pryor 1970–1971
18 John Gregory 1972–1981
19 Wayne Haensel 1982–1990
20 Mike Daly 1991–1996
21 John Stiegelmeier 1997–present


Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium – named for university benefactor and former football player Dana J. Dykhouse.
  • Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium (19,340 capacity)
  • Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex (SJAC)
  • Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center (Connected to SJAC in north end zone)

In 2014, South Dakota State University started construction of a new stadium on the location of the current Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. The new stadium has a total seating capacity of 19,340 with easy expansion to 22,500.

The Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex is the Jackrabbits new State-of-the-art indoor practice facility. The facility was opened on October 11, 2014. The SJAC has bleacher seating for up to 1,000 spectators and can be used for football practice, track practice, softball and baseball practice, track competitions, and other events within the SDSU athletic department. The 149,284-square foot facility is the largest indoor practice facility in Division I athletics and features an eight-lane, 300-meter track which is only one of five collegiate indoor tracks of that size in the nation. Inside the track is an 80-yard football field plus end zones at each end and is composed of a soy-based Astroturf. Within the facility it has areas for sports medicine and strength and conditioning. Sports medicine features include rehab space, a training room, weight room expansion, hydrotherapy, a football team room, offices and academic advising facilities. The SJAC is used by many of SDSU’s athletic programs.

All-Time statistical leadersEdit


Single-game leadersEdit

  • Passing Yards: Dan Fjeldheim (460, 9-28-2002)
  • Rushing Yards: Zach Zenner (295 2x, 11-24-2012, 9-7-2013)
  • Receiving Yards: Jeff Tiefenthaler (256, 9-27-1986)

Single-Season leadersEdit

  • Passing Yards: Taryn Christion (3,369 2016^)
  • Rushing Yards: Josh Ranek – (2,055 1999)
  • Receiving Yards: Jeff Tiefenthaler (1,534 1986)

^ Season still ongoing.

Career leadersEdit

  • Passing Yards: Austin Sumner – (9,458 2011–2014)
  • Rushing Yards: Josh Ranek – (6,744 1997–2001)
  • Receiving Yards: Jake Wieneke (4,080 2014–2017)

Media coverageEdit

All home and road games are covered on the Jackrabbit Sports Network. The broadcast range of the Jackrabbit Sports Network covers eight states (South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Wyoming), and consists of the following stations:

The team does not have an official television partner, but Jackrabbit games have been televised on Midco Sports Net, Fox College Sports, the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports North, and local television networks.

Record against FBS competitionEdit

Overall 1–8.[when?][citation needed]

Season Opponent Conference Result Record
2008 Iowa State Big 12 L 17–44 0–1
2009 Minnesota Big Ten L 13–16 0–2
2010 Nebraska Big 12 L 3–17 0–3
2011 Illinois Big Ten L 3–56 0–4
2012 Kansas Big 12 L 17–31 0–5
2013 Nebraska Big Ten L 20–59 0–6
2014 Missouri SEC L 18–38 0–7
2015 Kansas Big 12 W 41–38 1–7
2016 TCU Big 12 L 41–59 1–8
2018 Iowa State Big 12 Cancelled by weather


  1. ^ "South Dakota State Jackrabbits Media Information". July 17, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2018.

External linksEdit