John Stiegelmeier has been building the South Dakota State football program for decades and now has the security once again to be doing it for the next five years.

Coach Stiegelmeier was rewarded with a contract extension on Monday to continue to lead the SDSU football team until at least 2025.

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That extension adds on to his current contract that was signed in 2018 as the Jacks find themselves once again in the mix to win a National Championship.

Not only are the Jacks having success this year, they have made four of the last five semi-final games in the FCS Playoffs.

In a statement released by the Athletic Department, Coach Stiegelmeier is very excited about the extension and his future with the program.

"Laurie and I want to thank President Barry Dunn and Justin Sell for believing in us. By extending my contract, we again feel blessed to be part of this great institution and our football program. We look forward to many special years ahead."

Not only is Coach Stiegelmeier excited about the future, SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell is certainly happy as well.

"John has created a championship culture in our football program that carries over to all areas of the student-athlete experience. The sustained success of Jackrabbit Football can be largely attributed to his steady hand in developing and leading young men and coaches of character."

SDSU will look to get back to the National Championship as they face off against Montana State this week in the FCS Playoff semi-final.

For more information on the SDSU football team, their current roster and other news surrounding the South Dakota State Athletic Department, you can visit their site.


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Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

 

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