Schafer begins his 26th year at the helm of the Hardrocker cross
country and track & field programs after serving eight years as an
assistant coach at the high school and collegiate levels. An Adams
State College (CO) graduate, coach Schafer brings the knowledge,
experience and tradition for excellence from that nationally known
program to the SDSM&T campus.
the past twenty-plus years, the Hardrocker cross country teams have
distinguished themselves by winning several men’s and women’s team
titles at the conference and district level. The “Runnin’ Rockers” have
accounted for thirty-one all-conference honors and five individual
titles while qualifying twenty-seven runners for the national
the track and in the field SDSM&T has been equally successful with
forty-two national competitors, fifteen national placers, and eleven
All-American honors since 1986. Hardrocker track & field athletes
have been named Scholar-Athlete no less than twelve times. “Athletics
and academics at SDSM&T epitomizes what college athletics was meant
to be. We combine the best of both worlds to better prepare
student-athletes for the future,” says coach Schafer.
belief that hard work and dedication can overcome any challenge is
what motivates the athletes on the Hardrocker cross country and track
& field teams to strive for excellence in everything they do, and
the Black Hills and SDSM&T provide the perfect environment for
student-athletes to develop to their fullest potential.
Johnson brings a wealth of experience in his fourth year as assistant track and field coach. He most
recently was an assistant coach at the University of Mary in Bismarck,
N.D. He's also had stints in Lakewood, Wash., at Pierce College; in
Tacoma, Wash., at University of Puget Sound; in University Place Wash.,
at Speed Tech; and in Pullman, Wash., at the Comets Track Club.
"Steve has an expertise in distance running," Schafer said. "But he
will also be working with our jumpers and javelin throwers. He has a lot
of versatility in those events and it will be an asset for him to help
Being a full-time assistant, Johnson will also have an instrumental
role in the recruiting of both cross country and track athletes.
Recruiting was one of Johnson's main duties at the University of Mary
and should benefit the Hardrocker program by having him take a strong
stance for SD Mines.
"Bigger is the goal. We want to boost the programs --- especially on
the women's side," Johnson said. "Recruiting will help us to regain
some of that competitiveness on both sides in track and field and cross
Johnson comes to Rapid City with his wife Simonne and sons Josh and Zach.