Jackrabbits announce football staff reorganization


South Dakota State football coach John Stiegelmeier announced Friday the reorganization of his coaching staff, which includes several internal promotions.

“The four coaches I am promoting have worked hard and are more than ready to assume a bigger role,” said Stiegelmeier, who completed his 25th season as head coach this past fall. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on our SDSU football family.”

Two of the promotions are for coordinator positions following the departures of Jason Eck and Brian Bergstrom for head coaching roles. Eck, who served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, was hired last month at Idaho, while Bergstrom, who shared defensive coordinator duties, recently accepted the head coaching position at Winona State.

Zach Lujan will take over as the Jackrabbits’ offensive coordinator, while continuing to coach the team’s quarterbacks. A former SDSU quarterback himself from 2014-16, Lujan began his coaching career in 2018 as running backs coach before moving over to mentor the quarterbacks a year later.

Also on offense, Ryan Olson will move from coaching the Jackrabbit tight ends to offensive line coach, and has added the title of run game coordinator. Olson joined the SDSU coaching staff prior to the start of the 2020-21 spring season and previously coached the offensive line at Bemidji State from 2017-19.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jimmy Rogers has been named the team’s sole defensive coordinator after splitting duties with Bergstrom the past three seasons. Rogers will continue to coach the squad’s linebackers and also holds the title of assistant head coach. Another former Jackrabbit player, Rogers is the longest-tenured assistant coach on staff as he will enter his 10th season this fall.

In addition, defensive line coach Christian Smith has added defensive run game coordinator to his duties. Smith has coached at SDSU since 2017.

Stiegelmeier said searches are in progress to fill the wide receiver, tight end and safeties coaching positions.

South Dakota State has qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs each of the past 10 seasons. The Jackrabbits reached the national title game during the 2020-21 spring season and advanced to the national semifinals during the 2021 fall campaign, combining for a 19-6 record during the calendar year. SDSU matched a school record with 11 wins this past fall.

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