Collins Action HC

Stacy Collins
Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator
Phone: (605)-394-2604
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Coach Collins brings a wealth of experience as the leader of the 'Rocker football team --- along with some familiarity of the program and institution --- as he was previously the defensive coordinator for SD Mines in 2002 under former head coach Darren Soucy.  

With 16 years collegiate football coaching experience, Collins served at Portland State University before taking over as head of the Hardrocker football program in 2012, an NCAA Div. I FCS program, where he was the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. Prior to that, he spent three seasons with Central Washington University (NCAA Div. II) as the special teams coordinator and linebacker/defensive line coach. 

The Hardrocker head coach's career also included stops at Southern Oregon University in 2007 (defensive coordinator), Idaho State from 2005-06 (linebackers coach), Western Washington from 2003-04 (linebackers coach) and Western Oregon from 1998-2002 (special teams coordinator and linebackers coach). In addition, he spent time in Europe on the coaching staff of the Vienna Vikings (Austria) European League football team as the defensive coordinator and interim head coach from 1999-2001.

Collins played college football at Western Oregon from 1993-97 as a linebacker, graduating with a degree in physical education (1998) and then a Master's in education in 2001. 

Collins, a native of Sutherlin, Ore., has been married to his wife, Mandi since July 2002. The couple has four daughters, Kayla (12), Mackenzie (10), and Kylee (4) and Mackenna (2).


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Zack Tinker
Offensive Coordinator / Assistant Head Coach / Quarterbacks & Running Backs Coach
Phone: (605)-394-2604

Tinker brings a considerable amount of football coaching experience to Rapid City. He joined the Hardrockers after a very successful stint at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Ore., where he was the assistant head coach as well as the offensive and recruiting coordinator (2008-2011). Tinker spent four seasons with the Eastern Oregon Mounties, a NAIA Div. I institution. While there Tinker also served as the quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach. 

  2013 – Hardrockers finished season with 6-4 record marking only the 2nd winning season in the previous 25 years of SDSMT football … Recognized as the most prolific offense in the 109 year history of Hardrocker Football … Rocker Offense set mark for most points scored in a season (384 / 38.4 ppg) … Set school record for total yards in a season 4268 (426.8 ypg) …

2013 NCAA Division II National Offensive Statistics – SDSMT Hardrockers

#1  Red Zone Offense – 42/43 Scores (.977) – 36 TD’s (.837)

#4  Fewest Fumbles Lost (3)

#8  Fewest Sacks Allowed (8)

#25  Scoring Offense (38.4 ppg)

2012 -- Hired by new head coach, Stacy Collins, in January 2012 … Hardrockers completed final season of transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II … Rockers scored 75 points in mid-season win over Presentation College …

2011 EOU finished 8-3, just the second 8-win season in 82-year school history ... The 2011 Seniors became the winningest class in school history with their 25 wins over a 4-year span  ... EOU led the Frontier Conference and ranked #15 nationally with 34.6 points per game ...  Mounties defeated defending National Champion and #1 ranked Carroll College snapping the Saints 44-game Frontier Conference winning streak ... RB Kevin Sampson set a school record for career rushing yards ... Chris Ware finished his career as the 5th most prolific player in NAIA history for yards from scrimmage ...

2011 NAIA Division I National Offensive Statistics  - Eastern Oregon University

#1   3RD Down Conversions – 50.3%

#7   Pass Efficiency – 155.9

#8  Total Pass Offense – 2783

#8  First Downs per Game – 22.2

#12  Total Offense per Game – 410.0

#15  Scoring Offense per Game – 34.6

#17  4th Down Conversions – 53.3%  

2010 -- the Mountie offense ranked 6th nationally in 1st downs per game (24.8) . . . Ranked 11th nationally in 3rd Down Conversions (45%) . . . Junior RB Kevin Sampson had a spectacular 2010 campaign and set the single-season school rushing record (1302 yds) . . . Sampson also ranked 2nd in the nation in all purpose yards (1892) and ranked 5th nationally at 119 ypg rushing . . . Junior QB Chris Ware ranked 6th nationally in total offense (3119 yds) . . .

2009 --  the Mountaineer offense led the Frontier Conference and ranked tenth nationally in scoring offense at 37.5 points per game . . . Under Tinker’s tutelage Sophomore QB Chris Ware flourished in the Mountie offense en route to earning Frontier Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 . . . Ware compiled a spectacular 37-9 TD-Int ratio in 2009 . . . The Mountie offense was not a one-man show, however, as six different receivers caught 20 balls or more in 2009 led by Jordyn Jackson’s 60 receptions that included 10 TD’s . .

2008 --  EOU finished 2nd in the Frontier Conference in scoring at 28.2 ppg … Mounties finished with a 5-1 home record … Eastern put up a remarkable 714 total yards en route to a 76-55 week 4 victory over conference foe Rocky Mountain College …

2007 --  served as Special Teams Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach at Southern Oregon University … Red Raiders finished 5-4 in 2007, their first winning season since 2004 …

2003-2007 --  served as an assistant coach at his alma matter, Western Washington University … Coached Tight Ends (’03 & ’04) and Offensive Line (’05 & ’06) … Vikings won GNAC conference crown in 2003 … In 2006, center Loren Winter received All-American recognition ...

1999 – 2002 -- Assisted four seasons at Meridian High School . . .Trojans won Class 2A state championship in 1999 and placed second in 2000

1995 - 1998 – Played at Western Washington University … 1995 & 1996 Conference Champions … 1996 NAIA National Runner-Up … 2 year letter-winner … Team’s Most Inspirational Award Winner in 1998 …

 " I've had the opportunity to work with Coach Tinker at two different universities and I couldn't be more excited to have him take the reins of our offense," Collins said. "He is a tremendous coach and an even better person.  He is professional and passionate and will be instrumental in helping lead our program into Division II football."

As an offensive asset to the Hardrockers, Tinker believes the key to football success is being able to make in-game adjustments, being flexible and to attack personnel match-ups to name a few. He believes an aggressive game plan will net positive results.




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George Booker
Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line Coach
Phone: 605-394-2604

 Booker came to the Hardrockers after serving two years on the Missouri S&T staff, where he served as the defensive line coach in 2011 and linebacker coach in 2012.

Booker also served a stint at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., where he was the defensive line coach for the Vikings and assisted the defensive unit on run defense adjustments and pass protection schemes, while also managing the team’s video personnel. He also handled the administrative support for recruiting multi-cultural students and athletes at WWU.

Prior to his term at Western Washington, Booker has coached at the University of Idaho, San Diego State University (Calif.), Montana State University and Cal Polytechnic State University (Calif.), handling the defensive line coaching duties at each of those stops. Booker was also an assistant coach at Saint Monica Catholic High School in California, where coordinated the defensive line and served as the team’s academic advisor.

“George has worked at a multiple NCAA Div. II Institutions that incorporate a high academic standard,” Collins said. “The same type of student-athlete that we desire here at South Dakota Mines. It’s nothing new for him.”

In addition, Booker served for three seasons in the National Football League’s Billl Walsh Coaching Fellowship, spending the 1998 and 1999 summers with the Minnesota Vikings and 2002 with the Dallas Cowboys.

Booker was an all-league performer as a defensive tackle and center at Saint Monica Catholic during his high school career and was an all-league defensive tackle at Western Washington in 1992, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science and recreation in 1993.

George is married to his wife, Teddy since 2012 and has three children, Elijah, 16; Sydnee, 14; and Chloe, 12.

George smiles


Taylor Breitzman
 CO-Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs
Phone: 605-394-2604

Taylor Breitzman joined the Hardrocker football coaching staff in 2015. Breitzman will serve as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Hardrockers.

“I’m extremely excited to add Taylor Breitzman to our football staff,” said SD Mines head football coach Stacy Collins. “I’ve been around Taylor in a variety of settings and he is a top notch teacher, coach and mentor --- and will be a great asset to our football program.”

Breitzman is a graduate of Central Washington University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Humanities with a concentration in Public Relations and a Masters in Athletic Administration. While at Central Washington, Breitzman played for and coached alongside Collins.

Breitzman served as a student assistant in 2010 as well as an assistant special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2011-2013. During his time at Central Washington, Breitzman helped student-athletes earn accolades including Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Defensive Player of the Year, GNAC Freshman of the Year, and several GNAC All-Conference honors.

In 2013 and 2014, Breitzman coached abroad in the Austrian Football League where he was the head coach and defensive coordinator for the Prague Black Panthers in the Czech Republic. While in Prague, Breitzman lead the Black Panthers to their first Austrian Football League playoff appearance and won their second straight Czech Republic National Championship on his way to being named the 2014 Austrian Football League Coach of the Year.

“Coach Breitzman has been a defensive coordinator and head coach at multiple programs and brings experience, energy, and excitement to our staff,” Collins added.

In the 2014 season, Breitzman served as the head coach and defensive coordinator for the College of Redwoods in Eureka, Cali. While at Redwoods, Breitzman developed three First Team All-Pacific 7 League players, four Second Team All-Pacific 7 League players, and helped the team reach its best grade point average in the last 10 years.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Hardrocker family,” said Breitzman. “I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to developing our scholar-athletes and working with a great staff.”  

Taylor two 

 Ken action 2
Ken Ackerman
Offensive Line Coach / Video Coordinator
Phone: (605)-394-2604 

Coach Ackerman is the Hardrocker offensive line coach. He spent time at Humboldt State, serving as tight ends coach and a graduate assistant from 2010-11. In his playing days, Ackerman was an outstanding offensive lineman at the University of Nevada - Reno (NCAA Div. I) where he started 28 games and earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors, as well as the Striker Award for Athletic Performance during his senior year.  Ackerman has also spent time in the professional ranks, competing in the Indoor Football League for the Reno Barons (Nev.) and the Tri-Cities Fever (Wash.) from 2010-11.

   Danny Verdun

Danny Verdun-Wheeler
Linebackers Coach 

Verdun Wheeler is one of 17 interns coaching this season on the Division II, Division III or NAIA level. Mines head coach Stacy Collins said the NFLPA sends out an email advertising the program each spring and this year was the third time they had applied for the internship.

Verdun Wheeler, who is coaching mike and rover linebackers, said his number one concern as a coach is to make sure the players are ready for life after their playing days, as well as making sure they are ready for Saturdays (gameday).

He also said he wants to teach schemes that he knows from his time in the NFL and Division I football. Originally, he said he was a little shy about talking about his playing experience with the team, but he has been encouraged by Collins to do so. He finished with 164 tackles in his four years with the Bulldogs (2003-2206) in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

After stops in training camps for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, Verdun Wheeler turned to high school coaching for four years in the Atlanta area.

Justin Udy

 Justin Udy
Wide Receivers Coach / Recruiting Coordinator 

Justin Udy joined the SD Mines Football coaching staff in 2015. He will serve as the wide receivers coach and the recruiting coordinator. Udy has a wide range of coaching experience.

From 2012 to 2015 he severed in many roles on the Eastern Oregon University staff including:  Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator, Wide Receivers Coach (2014) ;Wide Receivers Coach, Assistant Special Teams, Video Coordinator (2013); Wide Receivers Coach, Video Coordinator (2012) 

During the 2014 season, Udy helped coach Eastern Oregon to 8-3 record which tied for the best season in school history. Udy coached Jace Billingsley, who is currently the record holder for receptions in a season/career, as well as points in a season/career. Udy helped several student-athletes achieve Frontier Conference Awards including First Team All –Conference Special Teams, All-Conference Wide Receiver, as well as an NAIA All-American at receiver in 2013.    

Prior to getting into coaching, Udy played for Eastern Oregon University football team from 2007-2011. In his career he appeared in 39 games for the Mountaineers. Udy played for current Hardrocker Offensive Coordinator Zach Tinker during his time at EOU and was a part of one of the best four-year runs in school history including a 8-3 record in 2011. 

Udy also succeeded off the field as a two-time NAIA Daktronics Academic All-American and a four-time Frontier Conference Academic All-Conference selection.

“I want to thank Coach Collins for giving me the opportunity to join the Hardrocker family,” Udy said. “I am excited to work with the athletes at SD Mines and look forward to helping the program make a positive impact in the classroom, community and on the football field.”

 Udy graduated from Eastern Oregon in 2011 with a bachelors’ degree in Marketing & Management. He earned his MBA in 2013 from EOU. He is a native of Genesee, Ida., and lives in Rapid City with his fiancé Shannon.

Travis Dixon

 Travis Dixon
 Running Backs Coach


2014: He returned to his Alma Mater where he worked as an assistant.  Had an opportunity to be mentored by Head Coach Bobby Hauck as his assistant for Special Teams.  When Dixon was not working with Head Coach Hauck he assisted with Defensive Line working under Michael Gray. 

Arizona State

2012-2013: Dixon joined Arizona State University as Quality Control on the Offensive side of the ball.  He worked with one of the country’s most explosive offense in his two seasons with Arizona State.  He worked under Offensive Coordinator Mike Norvell during his two season.


2010: Played in four games after switching to defensive back from quarterback…registered nine tackles and two pass breakups.

2009: Played in 11 games, including starting seven ... Finished ninth on team with 36 total tackles, including 1.5 for loss ... Tied with two others for team lead with two forced fumbles.

2008: Lettered on defense by playing nine games ... Totaled five tackles in new role ... Switched to defense on the first day of fall camp and gradually learned new position.

2007: Earned his first letter as a Rebel by playing in all 12 games ... Earned the starting job during the preseason and started the first seven games ... Later regained his starting spot for the final two games after Omar Clayton broke his hand vs. SDSU ... Completed 159 of 299 passing attempts (53.2) and led squad with 1,873 yards passing and ranked second on team with 324 net rushing yards ... Tossed eight touchdowns and eight interceptions ... Ranked sixth in the MWC and 82nd nationally with 183.1 total offensive yards per game ... Finished eighth in the league and 91st in the country with 156.1 passing YPG ... Became first freshman quarterback in UNLV history to lead his team to a season-opening victory when he rallied Rebels past Utah State 23-16 ... Became fifth quarterback in school history to rush for 100 net yards in a game with 129 on 22 carries vs. Aggies ... That effort included a season-long 45-yard scamper and a 15-yard scoring run ... Nearly led team to an upset of No. 5 Wisconsin in Week Two when he completed 23-36 attempts for 258 yards and a score in the 20-13 final ... Threw for a career-high 274 yards on 23-37 passing at Air Force ... Also rushed for a TD as part of 56-yard ground day vs. the Falcons ... Tossed a career-best three TDs in loss to SDSU in home finale.

Jordan Fenner

 Jordan Fenner
 Tight Ends Coach


 Blaine-John Bennett
 Assistant Defensive Backs Coach / Equipment Manager

Nick Jean Baptist

Nick Jean-Baptiste
Assistant Defensive Line Coach

Nick Jean-Baptiste attended Baylor University, where he worked his way from a walk-on to a regular starter in the Bears’ lineup… After redshirting in 2007, went on to appear in 49 games (21 starts) over the next four years… Recorded personal best totals of 36 tackles and four sacks as a senior in 2011 while being named Second Team All-Big 12… Totaled 94 tackles, five sacks and a forced fumble during his time with the Bears. Concluding his collegiate career, he played in the 2012 East-West Shrine Game.

Originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft… After competing in training camp with Baltimore, spent time on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad later in the 2012 season… Competed in training camp with the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2013 NFL season.

Appeared in three games as an AFL rookie with the Arizona Rattlers in 2014… Totaled four tackles and one sack. Acquired by the Jacksonville Sharks in a trade with the Arizona Rattlers in 2015.




  • 16 Football Recruits

    16 Football Recruits

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    Hardrocker Luncheon Jan. 26

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    2015Football Highlights

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    Hardrocker Luncheon Nov. 4

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