Joe Burger, who was the assistant coach at Drake
University in Iowa, brings not only experience in establishing a new
soccer program, but also determination and desire to develop the
Hardrocker program from scratch and turn it into a consistent and
“This is an exciting day for Hardrocker Athletics,”
said South Dakota Mines Athletics Director Dick Kaiser. “It is the
first addition of a men’s sport in over 30 years and it couldn’t come at
a better time for our institution.”
Burger, a 1995 graduate of the University of
Missouri – Kansas City (BA), has spent the last 16 years in the world of
soccer. He has a United States Federation National ‘A’ Coaching License
--- which is the highest license available.
“I am excited to have this opportunity at South
Dakota Mines. The potential of this institution and the chance to build a
program from scratch again is exciting,” Burger said. “Not a lot of
coaches get to do that in their career but to be asked to do it twice is
a great opportunity.”
Burger was the assistant men’s soccer coach at
Drake for the past five years. During that time, his duties included:
assisting in the oversight of all aspects of the men’s soccer program
(travel, team training, recruiting, game preparation, budget management,
fundraising, marketing, team strength and conditioning as well as team
While at Drake, Burger earned the College Soccer
News Top Assistant Coach of the Year (2008) and helped guide the men’s
team to a 62-40-16 overall won-loss record and earned the Bulldogs an
initial NCAA Tournament berth in 2008 and Drake's run to the Elite Eight
in 2009. Drake received 36 All-Missouri Valley Conference and 25
All-MVC Scholar-Athlete selections, respectively while Burger was
there. Nine times Bulldogs were chosen NSCAA Academic All-Americans.
Before that, Burger was the head coach at Barton
County Community College in Great Bend, Kan., from 2001-06, where he
established new men’s and women’s programs. At Barton County, he was in
charge of all aspects of the soccer programs including: team selection,
assistant coach selection, team training, recruiting, team travel, game
preparation, budget management and academic progress. While at Barton
County, Berger established a men’s record of 63-30-11 and a conference
mark of 39-8-4.
Burger was a finalist for the National Soccer
Coaches Adidas NJCAA Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2005 and received the
Regional and Conference Coach of the Year Award in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
“Joe is an outstanding individual and a quality
coach. He has proven collegiate experience as a head coach and as an
assistant at a high level NCAA Div. I program. There is no question in
my mind he is the right individual to get this program off the ground,”
Kaiser said. “Coach Burger brings with him a complete understanding of
our need to attract student-athletes with high academic qualifications.
His experiences at Drake University as a recruiter were a very
attractive part of the resume he presented to us.”
By adding soccer Kaiser feels it will fulfill
multiple needs to the SD Mines Athletics Dept. There has always been a
strong club emphasis in soccer on SD Mines campus as well as a strong
interest from the student body. It also provides the Hardrockers with a
nature of compliance with Title IX as well as makes the Hardrockers more
desirable as they seek NCAA Div. II conference affiliation.
“The opportunity to help grow the game in this
part of the country was too good to pass up, “Burger said. “I think I
will be able to help do good things, not just at the college level, but
also help promote soccer in the community and give the area’s soccer
fans a good product that they can enjoy to watch and support. I want to
give them a hometown team that they can follow.
RAPID CITY -South Dakota School of Mines is pleased to announce the
hiring of first-ever Hardrocker men's soccer assistant coach Luke
Schweitzer for the 2012 season.
Schweitzer comes to SD Mines after serving as the graduate assistant
men's soccer coach at Misericordia University in Northeast Pennsylvania
for two years.
"The addition of coach Schweitzer to the new soccer program is a huge
plus," said Hardrocker Athletics Director Dick Kaiser. "Luke brings
invaluable experience, expertise and energy to the first-year program.
We are excited to get this season underway and having an assistant with
outstanding credentials will be a tremendous asset to coach Burger."
While at Misericordia, Schweitzer spent his time as the only
assistant to the head coach. His responsibilities included assisting in
all components of team and individual player development, monitoring
the academic success of student-athletes, developing and administering
practice plans, fundraising, community outreach, team strength and
conditioning, game day preparation and year-round recruiting of strong
academic and talented soccer players.
"I'm excited to have Luke join our staff. He brings a youthful
enthusiasm and passion for the game that will draw student-athletes and
the community toward our program," said Hardrocker men's head soccer
coach Joe Burger. "Luke is an outstanding young coach that grew up in
great soccer culture in Chicago (Ill.) and has grown immensely during
his student assistant and graduate assistant coaching stints."
In 2011, Schweitzer helped lead the Misericordia program to a third
conference championship in its four years of membership, earning an
automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. In addition to coaching soccer,
Luke earned his Master of Science degree in Organizational Management.
"I am excited for the opportunity that South Dakota School of Mines
has provided me," Schweitzer said. "I am eager to begin serving as
coach Burger's assistant and help to achieve his goals and vision for
the soccer program. I believe in coach Burger's philosophy and the
potential this program has to be successful."
Prior to Misericordia, Schweitzer graduated from Loras College
located in Dubuque, Iowa, (2010) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Sports Management. Schweitzer spent four years as a member of the men's
Duhawk soccer program --- two years playing and two years serving as a
As an assistant coach for Loras, Schweitzer helped secure a
second-straight NCAA Final Four appearance in 2008 and Sweet 16
appearance in 2009. From 2007-2010, Schweitzer dedicated his time
coaching at Dubuque Hempstead High School (Iowa) for four years. He
spent his first year as the assistant varsity coach before being named
the head coach in 2008.
Schweitzer brings more than just his experience to working with NCAA
student-athletes; he holds his NSCAA "National Diploma" and "Regional
Goalkeeping Diploma", as well as his "D" National Licenses through the
USSF. Later this year, he will continue his professional development by
taking the USSF National "C" Licensing course. Furthermore, he is
very driven to be successful on and off the soccer field, energetic,
passionate about individual development and obtains a difference making
"I think Luke will complement me greatly and his strengths will add
to our program," Burger said. "I'm excited to work with Luke and help
him grow as coach. He has a bright future as a coach and I am lucky to
get someone of his caliber."
In addition to being the assistant men's soccer coach, Schweitzer
will be responsible for assisting Sports Information Director Brad
Blume. Schweitzer will be responsible for assisting Blume in all facets
necessary to improve the success of the Hardrocker Athletics
"I am really looking forward to having Luke join the Sports
Information Office. As an NCAA Div. II institution, Luke brings a level
of energy needed to help promote all Hardrocker Athletic programs as
well as SD Mines," Blume said.
"I'm excited to be here and I look forward to making a difference on
campus and within the Rapid City community," Schweitzer added.