South Dakota Extends Bob Nielson Through 2027

South Dakota is keeping Bob Nielson in Vermillion through the 2027 season. The Coyotes announced a four-year contract extension on Thursday morning. Nielson ranks fifth all-time in wins at South Dakota.

Nielson has spent 8 seasons with South Dakota and has compiled a record of 42-45 overall and 29-31 in the MVFC. Nielson has led the Coyotes to the FCS Playoffs three times including two of the last three seasons. In 2023, South Dakota advanced to the FCS Quarterfinals for the first time since joining the subdivision in 2008.

Nielson, 64, has a long head coaching résumé dating back to the late 1980s. He began his career in charge of Ripon College in 1989 and went 9-8-1 over two seasons. In 1991, he took over at Wartburg College and led the Knights to two NCAA Division III playoff appearances while going 39-14 overall in five years. He moved on to Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1996 through 1998 finishing 22-11 overall and his final season culminating with a semifinal appearance in the D-III playoffs.

Nielson had two separate stints at Minnesota-Duluth beginning in 1999. From 1999 through 2003, he went 38-19 overall and made 1 Division II playoff appearance in 2002. He returned to the Bulldogs in 2008, winning the 2008 and 2010 NCAA Division II national championships. Nielson won at least 10 games and made the D-II playoffs each year from 2008 through 2012.

In 2013, Nielson made it up to the FCS ranks as he took over the Western Illinois football program. In his three seasons with the Leathernecks, he went 16-21 overall and 10-14 in the MVFC including a playoff appearance in 2015 that ended in a second-round defeat. Nielson left WIU and joined South Dakota beginning with the 2016 season.

South Dakota will begin its 9th season under Nielson against Division II opponent Northern State on Thursday, August 29.

Photo Credit to the University of South Dakota Athletics

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