South Dakota State University head football coach John Stiegelmeier announced Tuesday the promotions of several assistant coaches.
Jason Eck, who has served as offensive line coach since 2016 and later added the title of run game coordinator, has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He will continue to coach the offensive line.
Eck replaces Eric Eidsness, who recently accepted the offensive coordinator position at Northern Illinois. Eck has coached at the collegiate level since 1999 and previously held the title of offensive coordinator at Minnesota State, Mankato, in 2014, when the Mavericks advanced to the NCAA Division II national championship game.
Tight ends coach Luke Schleusner will fill the role of passing game coordinator in addition to his position duties. Schleusner has been a member of the Jackrabbit coaching staff since 2014 and was instrumental in the development of two-time All-American and second-round 2018 NFL draft choice Dallas Goedert, who is currently a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Schleusner also has assisted with the special teams units.
Also on offense, Zach Lujan will mentor the team’s quarterbacks after coaching the running backs last season. A former Jackrabbit quarterback, Lujan was a key member of three consecutive Football Championship Subdivision playoff teams from 2014-16 and began his coaching career as offensive quality control in 2017.
On the defensive side of the ball, Stiegelmeier announced that Jimmy Rogers and Brian Bergstrom will share the coordinator duties during the 2019 season. The duo will replace Clint Brown, who accepted the defensive coordinator position at Abilene Christian earlier this month.
Rogers has coached the team’s linebackers since 2013 and also has assisted with special teams. Under his guidance, the Jackrabbits have had at least one 100-tackle performer every season he has been on the sidelines, including All-American Christian Rozeboom each of the last three years.
A two-time all-conference performer at linebacker for the Jackrabbits from 2006-09, Rogers returned to SDSU after a coaching stop at Florida Atlantic.
Bergstrom is in his third year at SDSU and coached the safeties during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He has previous experience as a defensive coordinator at Augustana University (2013-16) and his alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus (2006-10).
In addition, Christian Smith has been named defensive line coach after serving as defensive tackles coach the past two seasons.
Rounding out the coaching staff changes is Dan Jackson, who will add special teams coordinator to his coaching responsibilities. Jackson has coached the team’s cornerbacks on a full-time basis since 2014 and also serves as the team’s recruiting coordinator.
Stiegelmeier expects to complete the coaching staff by hiring a running backs coach and assistant defensive line coach prior to the start of spring practices March 11.