Since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008, the Jackrabbits have posted a record of 27-13. Year-in and year-out the MVFC has been proven to be one of the most toughest conferences to play in. The MVFC ranks number one overall in the 2012 GPI Rankings.
1. Missouri Valley Football Conference (22.87)
2. Big Sky Conference (31.19)
3. Southern Conference (33.05)
4. Ohio Valley Conference (35.59)
5. Southland Conference (37.61)
On a team level, South Dakota State ranks seventh in the GPI Team Rankings.
GPI Team Rankings:
1. N Dakota St (9) (1.00)
2. Montana St (2.43)
3. Sam Houston St (3.43)
4. E Washington (4.29)
5. Cent Arkansas (6.71)
6. Cal Poly (8.43)
7. South Dakota State (9.43)
During the 2012 season, SDSU went 6-0 overall at home. The Jackrabbit faithful show up week-in and week-out to cheer on their football team. Coughlin Alumni Stadium averaged 13,338 fans during the regular season, which ranked in the top 25 of the FCS level.
John Stiegelmeier has been the head coach of the Jackrabbit football team since the 1997 season. Stiegelmeier was a key part in over seeing the major success in the transformation from the Division II era to the Division I era. On November 3, 2012, he won his 100th game as head coach of the Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State placed a league-high 11 players on the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team, which is based on a vote by the conference's ten sports information directors.
The South Dakota State football team averaged a 3.02 GPA last season. The Jackrabbits have also won the Missouri Valley Football Conference Academic Award four times in a row.
Headlining the team were first-team selections Alex Olinger, Taylor Suess and Zach Zenner. Olinger, a senior offensive lineman, moved to the first team after earning second-team recognition in 2011. The Ames, Iowa, native earned a spot on the 11-player first team with a 3.99 grade-point average while majoring in pharmacy and biology.
Seniors Seth Daughters, Tyrel Kool and Ross Shafrath all moved up to the second team after receiving honorable honors a season ago. A tight end from Winner, S.D., Daughters has compiled a 3.72 GPA in exercise science, with Kool, a wide receiver from Yankton, S.D., has posted a 3.26 GPA while majoring in business economics. Shafrath, a linebacker from Hampton, Iowa, turned in a 3.37 GPA in park and recreation management.
In recent years, a commitment to community service has been added to the criteria necessary to earn a varsity letter within the Jackrabbit football program. Over the past few years, SDSU football players have participated in the following community service projects and activities:
• Helping conduct the annual Fast-Break Basketball Clinic
• Visiting hospitals and Children’s Home Society care facilities in Sioux Falls, S.D. and Rapid City, S.D., as well as the Avera Behavioral Hospital
• Operating a skills booth at the annual Halloween Penny Carnival, with proceeds going toward Brookings D.A.R.E. programs
• Assisting with community food drives
• Reading at Medary and Central elementary schools in Brookings
• Conducting youth football clinics prior to the season-opening game in Brookings and during spring drills in Sioux Fallsand Rapid City
• Participating in the Medary Elementary Spring Fling
• Conducting a “show and tell” session at the SDSU Preschool
• Visiting residents at Brookview Manor
• Taking part in a campus cleanup effort
• Assisting the United Methodist Church in Brookings on a solar oven project for families in Haiti
• Serving as hosts for the Take A Kid to a Game program
• Preparing and serving meals at the Brookings Harvest Tabl