Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Zach Tinker Named as New Hardrockers Football Coach

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 26, 2016) – Zach Tinker will be the new head coach of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Hardrockers football program, the university announced today.

Tinker, who has spent the last four seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Hardrockers, takes the helm from former head coach Stacy Collins, who resigned to take a position as the special teams coordinator for the Utah State Aggies in Logan, Utah.

“Coach Tinker has been the right-hand man of the Hardrocker football program under Coach Collins. He is the same kind of high-expectations, values-driven leader that we need here,” said SD Mines President Heather Wilson. “I know he likes to win football games. I also know he likes to recruit students who will succeed at SD Mines and help them to develop into leaders in engineering and science.” 

Under Tinker’s direction, South Dakota Mines has become a high-energy offense able to move the ball up and down the football field with ease. Tinker’s style of play and philosophies have yielded a number of Hardrocker team records on the offensive side of the ball, including total plays, total yards, passing yards, passing attempts, total first downs and points scored in a season. Tinker was also instrumental in the program earning two winning seasons in the past four years.

“I am honored and humbled that President Wilson and our Athletics Director Joel Lueken have put their trust in me to be the head football coach at South Dakota Mines. I’d like to thank Stacy for bringing me to the Black Hills four years ago to help establish Rapid City’s Hometown Team at the Division II level. Our players are anxious to continue preparation for the 2016 season and the challenging schedule that awaits us in our inaugural RMAC campaign.” Tinker said.

The Hardrocker offense has also been rated high in the NCAA Div. II ranks as the team boasted the No. 1 red zone offense and the No. 25 scoring offense during the 2013 campaign.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Coach Tinker as our next head football coach,” said Hardrocker Athletics Director Joel Lueken. “Zach brings a tremendous amount of energy, passion and (NCAA) Div. II experience to the head football coaching position. He truly understands the term scholar-athlete, and through his leadership we will continue to graduate leaders in science and engineering from SD Mines.”

Tinker joined the Hardrockers after a 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.

He also made coaching stops at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore., and Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. During that stint, he served as the special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach (2007) at Southern Oregon and was the offensive line coach, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater Western Washington (2003-2007). Tinker and his wife, Marnie, have two children, Joey (22) and Julianna (14).

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 matchups to name a few. He believes an aggressive game plan will net positive results.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $62,929. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on Facebook and Twitter.


Contact: Brad Blume, (605) 394-2355, Bradley.Blume@sdsmt.edu

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