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
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).
|Offensive Coordinator / Assistant Head Coach / Quarterbacks & Running Backs Coach
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) …
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 ...
NAIA Division I National Offensive Statistics - Eastern Oregon University
#1 3RD Down
Conversions – 50.3%
Pass Efficiency – 155.9
Total Pass Offense – 2783
First Downs per Game
Total Offense per
Game – 410.0
Scoring Offense per
Game – 34.6
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 …
-- 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
2002 -- Assisted four
seasons at Meridian High School . . .Trojans won Class 2A state championship in
1999 and placed second in 2000
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.
| Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line Coach
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
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
tackle at Western Washington in 1992, where he earned his bachelor’s
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.
Breitzman joined the Hardrocker football coaching staff in 2015. Breitzman will serve as
the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the
“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.”
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.
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).
stops in training camps for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins,
Verdun Wheeler turned to high school coaching for four years in the
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Scott Baird is a 1997 graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University and is in
his sventh year as head athletic trainer at South Dakota School of Mines
and Technology. Before joining the School of Mines Athletic Department,
he was an athletic trainer for the University of Wyoming where he
covered both men's rugby and lacrosse. He brings much knowledge and
experience to the SD School of Mines Sports Medicine Team. Scott has been
married to Becky, a Physical Therapist in Rapid City, for 17 years and
have twin girls -- Braedyn and Blakely.