Jed Stugart, who is in his fourth season as head coach at the University of Sioux Falls, has maintained the pride and tradition of USF football while steering the Cougars through the challenging transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II athletics.
Stugart was introduced as USF’s 20th head coach on February 20, 2010.
A Greeley, Colo. native with Midwest ties, Stugart has guided the Cougars to three consecutive winning seasons, 27 victories and an NAIA national championship appearance. Stugart owns a 27-7 record (.794) at USF and a career mark of 53-14 (.791).
USF made its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference debut on August 30, 2012, and the Cougars announced their presence with authority with a 32-19 road upset of No. 16 St. Cloud State. The Cougars opened the 2012 campaign with five straight victories and finished 9-2 overall to secure their 19th straight winning season and fourth place in the 16-team NSIC. USF claimed a 32-31 double-overtime victory over crosstown rival and new conference foe Augustana College on Oct. 20 in the inaugural “Key to the City” game. The matchup was the first between the two programs in 26 years and it marked the Cougars’ first-ever victory against the Vikings. USF was ranked No. 22 at the conclusion of the season and enjoyed six weeks in the NCAA D-II top 25 poll, including a season-best No. 17 ranking the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 3.
Stugart and his staff assembled the No. 1 pass efficiency defense in the NSIC while the Cougar defense ranked among the NCAA D-II top 30 in five categories: rushing defense (29th at 121.36), pass efficiency defense (20th at 107.22), scoring defense (24th at 20.18), turnover margin (9th at 1.27) and tackles for loss (30th at 7.55). In addition, senior cornerback Robert Virgil tied for fifth in the nation with an average of 0.64 interceptions per game while classmate Nick Bonte ranked 23rd in tackles for loss (1.59).
Senior kicker Braden Wieking ended his storied career as the school’s career field goals leader (52). A Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-American, Wieking twice earned NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week honors this season and posted the league’s best overall field goal percentage, at .842 (16-for-19).
The Cougars placed three players on the All-NSIC South Division First Team in 2012, including senior wide receiver Jeremiah Oates, who snared a league-best 12 touchdown catches. Junior Carrington Hanna, who was tops in the NSIC in both receptions (69, 6.27 per game) and yards per catch (13), earned a second team nod.
Hanna was also named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA Division II Football Second Team, becoming the first USF student-athlete to be selected to the Academic All-American Team by CoSIDA.
A total of 13 Cougars received All-NSIC recognition and the 2012 USF football team received a total of 25 postseason honors from a variety of collegiate and media outlets.
The national recognition wasn’t limited to the players, as Stugart was one of five D-II finalists for the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the premier college football-coaching honor that promotes charity and scholarship while also honoring coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off the field.
In 2011, thanks to its 29-10 victory over Minot State, USF finished its NCAA D-II provisional campaign with a 5-4 mark for its 18th winning season in a row. Even though the squad was ineligible to compete for a conference championship or postseason berth, the Cougars tallied several memorable moments and learned firsthand what it takes to compete and win at the NCAA D-II level. Under Stugart’s guidance, the Cougars proved not only that they could compete at the D-II level, but they could put a scare into NCAA Division I opponents. The Cougars put forth a valiant effort on the road in a 31-17 loss to FCS No. 23-ranked McNeese State University. After starting the 2011 campaign 0-3, the Cougars rolled off five straight victories and concluded the season with a heartbreaking 15-13 near-upset loss at then FCS No. 25 University of North Dakota. All four of USF’s 2011 losses came against nationally ranked NCAA DI FCS and NCAA DII programs.
In his first season at USF, Stugart led the Cougars to a 13-1 record, fifth straight Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) crown and fifth consecutive appearance in the NAIA National Championship Game.
Stugart coached his first game for the Cougars on September 4, 2010, a 41-24 victory at No. 23 Northwestern College. The Cougars trailed their longtime rival 14-10 at the half, but outscored the Red Raiders 31-10 in the second half to secure the victory. USF ran the table in the GPAC and capped off a 10-0 regular season with a 44-7 win over Concordia University (Neb.) to capture its fifth straight (ninth overall) GPAC championship.
The Cougars stormed through their first two playoff contests, a 33-14 win over No. 16 Northwestern Oklahoma State University and a 27-7 victory against No. 12 McKendree University. The wins advanced the Cougars to a semifinal matchup versus No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene University. The game was a homecoming of sorts for Stugart; he had previously served as the Pioneers’ head coach from 2006-08. USF shutout MNU 38-0, thereby extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 42 games and clinching the Cougar’s fifth straight trip to the NAIA national title game in Rome, Ga.
USF came up just short in the championship game, falling 10-7 in a defensive struggle to No. 2 Carroll College. Cougar linebacker Eric Anderson recorded 17 tackles and was honored as the game’s defensive player of the game for his standout performance.
Several other USF football student-athletes collected hardware in 2010. Senior receiver Jon Ryan captured the program’s fourth NAIA Player of the Year award and was also named the 2010 GPAC Player of the Year. Ryan was one of 22 players to receive GPAC all-conference recognition, with six Cougars picking up first team accolades.
Prior to USF, Stugart served as the linebackers coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) and guided all three starting Rebel linebackers to top 20 finishes in total tackles in the conference.
UNLV just missed qualifying for a bowl with a 5-7 record in Mountain West Conference, one of the top mid-major conferences in the country at the NCAA Division I-FBS level.
Before UNLV, Stugart spent three seasons as the head coach at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU), compiling a 26-7 record at the NAIA school located in Olathe, Kansas.
After leading the Pioneers to an undefeated regular season, a Heart of America Conference title and second consecutive trip to the playoffs, Stugart was named 2008 NAIA Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Previous to MNU, he was on the staff at Northern Colorado from 1999-2006. Stugart was the defensive line coach before taking over the linebackers as defensive coordinator in 2003, the same year that the UNC defense ranked 16th in the nation in total defense and 13th in scoring defense. With the Bears he produced three defensive All-Americans and was part of two North Central Conference championship teams and two postseason appearances.
Stugart earned three letters as a linebacker at Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University, where he later began his coaching career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1994 from APU and a master’s degree in communications from UNC in 2003.
Stugart and his wife, Angie, have one son, Gunner, and one daughter, Gracie.
Jed Stugart Year-by-Year
Sioux Falls (2010-present)
- 27-7 overall
- 9-2 in 2012 (4th, NSIC)5-4 (2011)
- 13-1 (2010)
- GPAC Championship (2010)
- NAIA National runner-up (2010)
Assistant Coach- Linebackers
MidAmerica Nazarene (2006-08)
- 26-7 overall
- Two Post-Season Appearances
- HAAC Championship (2008)
- AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year
Northern Colorado (2003-05)
Assistant Coach- Defensive Coordinator
Northern Colorado (1999-2002)
Assistant Coach- Defensive Line & Linebackers