Sioux Falls Cougars

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Sioux Falls Cougars
University University of Sioux Falls
Conference NSIC
NCAA Division II
Athletic director Josh Snyder
Location Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Bob Young Field
Basketball arena Stewart Center
Baseball stadium Harmondon Park
Softball stadium Sherman Park
Mascot Cooper
Nickname Cougars
Colors Purple and White

The Sioux Falls Cougars are the athletic teams that represent the University of Sioux Falls. They currently compete in NCAA Division II after participating in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics through 2011. They were formally members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference from 2000–2011 and the South Dakota Interstate Conference (SDIC) until the year 2000. The university is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) for the majority of sports and in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) for men's soccer.[1]

Move to NCAA[edit]

On April 28, 2009 the university board of trustees voted to leave the NAIA and apply to join the NCAA Division II.[2] For two years, USF remained a member of the NAIA and Great Plains Athletic Conference. In 2011–2012, the school became a provisional member of the NCAA, playing full NCAA schedules and required to operate under NCAA Division II regulations but was ineligible for postseason events.[3][4]

In July 2012, the university became one of six universities to join the NCAA as full members, with official membership commencing on September 1, 2012. As part of the successful transition to the NCAA, the Cougars will be eligible for postseason conference and NCAA postseason competition.[5] With the acceptance into the NCAA as a full member, the university will begin conference play in the NSIC for the majority of sports and in the GNAC for men's soccer.[1]


The USF Athletic Department sponsors the following sports:

Wrestling, men's soccer and men's tennis were dropped once USF moved to NCAA Division II in 2011.[6] The tennis team had made five trips to the NAIA Championships in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010.


The University of Sioux Falls Cougars football team won the NAIA Division II Football National Championship in 1996, and the NAIA Football National Championship in 2006, 2008 and 2009.[7] All four of USF's national championships have been undefeated seasons. The football program has had four NAIA Players of the Year Award winners, running back Nick Kortan in 2002, quarterback Chad Cavender in 2007, quarterback Lorenzo Brown in 2009[8] and receiver Jon Ryan in 2010. The program has won 19 conference titles, including 10 in the SDIC (1981, 1984, 1988–1989, 1994–1999) and 9 in the GPAC (2001–2004, 2006–).[9] From 2008–2010 the team sported a 42-game winning streak which tied an NAIA record.[10]

The current head coach is Jed Stugart who replaced alum Kalen DeBoer in 2010. DeBoer led USF to a 67-3 record in his five years with 3 national titles as head coach. Legendary coach Bob Young led the Cougars from 1983– 2004 guiding them to their first national championship in 1996.[11]

Year Coach Record Championship Game Opponent Score
1996 Bob Young 14–0 Western Washington 47–25
2006 Kalen DeBoer 14–0 Saint Francis (IN) 23–19
2008 Kalen DeBoer 14–0 Carroll 23–7
2009 Kalen DeBoer 15–0 Lindenwood 25–22
Total national championships – 4


The USF baseball team won the 2007 GPAC regular and postseason titles with a record of 17–7 (26–19 overall).[12] They had a breakout season in the spring of 2010, setting a school record for wins in a season with a 33–17 record. The Cougars finished second in the GPAC with a 19–5 conference record.


The women's softball team advanced to the NAIA Softball World Series in 2005. That team also won the only postseason GPAC title in school history and finished with a 29-16 record, a school record for victories.[13]

Basketball (men's)[edit]

The men's basketball team advanced to 9 NAIA Tournaments, including a Final Four Appearance in 2004.[14] USF won two regular season GPAC Titles (2006, 2007) and 4 postseason GPAC Titles (2004, 2007, 2009, 2011).[12] The current coach is Chris Johnson, who has led the Cougars to tournament appearances in each of his three seasons, including Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2009 and 2010.

Basketball (women's)[edit]

The women's basketball team advanced to the NAIA Tournament in 2001, 2003, and 2011.[15] The 2003 team is the only Final Four team in school history. The 2011 team, under current coach Travis Traphagen, reached the Elite 8 and set a school record for wins with 27.

Golf (women's)[edit]

The 2007–2008 women's golf team won the GPAC Championship.

Tennis (women's)[edit]

The women's tennis team made four trips to the NAIA Championships in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010.[16] They won regular season GPAC titles in 2005, 2009, and 2010 and postseason GPAC titles in 2004, 2005, and 2010.

Track and Field[edit]

The track and field team has four NAIA individual national champions: Vinnie Olson (2004 - Indoor Shot Put), Colin Koth (2011 - Indoor 400), and Brigitte Gross (2011 - Indoor and Outdoor Pole Vault). Since joining the NCAA, the track and field program has added 3 more national champions: Jagger Gran (2015 - Indoor Pole Vault), Scott Greenman (2017 - Indoor Pole Vault), and Courtney Crandall (2017 - Indoor Pole Vault)[17] The women's outdoor team won the GPAC title in 2011.


  1. ^ a b "It's Official; USF Cougars are NCAA D-II Members". University of Sioux Falls. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "USF Accepted Into NCAA Division II Candidacy Membership". Great Plains Athletic Conference. July 10, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "USF Accepts Invite to Northern Sun Conference". KDLT-TV. January 20, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "New members for 2012-13 could include Association's first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ March 11, 2011 (2011-03-11). "Sioux Falls cutting wrestling, men's tennis - townnews-aberdeennews". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  7. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Sioux Falls QB Lorenzo Brown is NAIA player of the year". 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "Carroll College halts Sioux Falls' 42-game win streak to take NAIA title". Usatoday.Com. 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ a b [4]
  13. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  14. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  15. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  16. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  17. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 

External links[edit]