VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota Athletic Director David Herbster has announced a five-year contract with head football coach Bob Nielson. The announcement follows another milestone year for Nielson, who surpassed 200 collegiate victories last season.
“Bob is a proven leader who has laid a solid foundation for our program as we build a championship culture,” said Herbster. “I look forward to watching his teams push forward throughout these facility enhancements and beyond.”
When Nielson took the Coyotes to the postseason in 2017, it marked the fifth consecutive program that has reached the playoffs within four years of Nielson taking the helm. South Dakota won its FCS playoff debut and reached the final 16. The team is 16-19 in three seasons under Nielson after combining for 12 wins in the four seasons prior.
“I’m excited to be a part of the future of Coyote football,” said Nielson. “The University of South Dakota is a great place. It is making a strong commitment to Division I football, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead our team to the next level.”
Nielson is a three-time national coach of the year recipient, a two-time national champion head coach, and was Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2016. The 2019 campaign will be his 27th as a head coach. He needed fewer than 300 games to reach 200 wins and stands with a 202-99-1 career record.
Nielson grew up in Marion, Iowa, and received his bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he began his coaching career. He was a head coach at Ripon (1989-90), Wartburg (1991-95), UW-Eau Claire (1996-98), Minnesota Duluth (1999-2003, 2008-12), and Western Illinois (2013-15) before arriving in Vermillion. He won Division II national championships with Minnesota Duluth in 2008 and 2010 with undefeated records of 15-0.
Nielson and his wife, Terri, have two daughters, Amanda Taylor and Kasey King, and a son, Kyle. He holds a master’s degree from UNI. Nielson is a member of the Minnesota Duluth and Linn-Mar High School Athletic Hall of Fames.