(From the USD sports desk)
VERMILLION, S.D.—University of South Dakota head football coach Bob Nielson has inked a contract extension thru the 2020-21 academic year athletic director David Herbster announced Thursday. Nielson completed his second season with the team this past fall, leading the Coyotes to eight wins, a top-five national ranking, and their first trip to the FCS playoffs. Nielson, a two-time national champion, will be entering his 26th season as a collegiate head football coach in 2018.
He stands with a record of 198-92-1. His 198 wins rank 20th amongst active head coaches regardless of division. Amongst active FCS coaches, he has the fifth-most victories and the fourth-best win percentage (.682). The Coyotes, picked to finish seventh in their own conference last season, won their first six games of the 2017 season en route to an 8-5 record.
The team climbed as high as No. 4 in the national rankings following wins against FBS Bowling Green and three wins against top-25 programs. USD spent seven consecutive weeks inside the top 10, received an at large bid to the FCS playoffs and defeated Nicholls in Louisiana in its FCS postseason debut.
Nielson’s Coyotes averaged 38 points per game behind the play of quarterback Chris Streveler, named FCS Offensive Player of the Year and the runner-up for the prestigious Walter Payton Award. South Dakota averaged 523 yards per game for the second-best offense in the nation. The Coyotes have averaged 34 points a contest in two seasons under Nielson.