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SDSU Rodeo Coalition

SDSU Rodeo Coalition

The purpose of the SDSU Rodeo Coalition is to help generate support and resources needed to elevate the SDSU rodeo program to national prominence; specifically, a program that consistently finishes in the top five nationally.

Given SDSU’s strong academics, this can easily be achieved IF the following three elements are put in place:

  1. An indoor arena and ancillary facilities to enable SDSU rodeo athletes to practice on a year-round basis.
  2. A second rodeo coach and additional operating support for travel, recruitment, and related expenses.
  3. Generous scholarship offerings that get the attention of high school students and their parents.

Once these three elements are in place, the coalition is 100% confident the SDSU rodeo program will be able to attain national prominence and remain true to the following mission: 

“…to provide an exceptional collegiate rodeo experience to talented student-athletes of strong character who are serious students and committed to graduating with a marketable degree from SDSU, a comprehensive and highly regarded land-grant university.

Beginning in 2019, 16 dedicated and passionate individuals from across South Dakota, and beyond, volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to create the vision, mission, and organizational structure for this ambitious effort.

These individuals are: Phil Baird (Mission), Victoria French Blatchford (Brookings), David Chicoine (Brookings),  Sam Cordes (Chicago), Kirk Cordes (Rapid City), Patty Dewey (Rapid City), Dana Dykhouse (Sioux Falls), Craig Korkow (Omaha), Elsie Meeks (Pine Ridge), Don Reichert (Hartford), Harlan Schott (Vermillion), Dave Sietsema (Mitchell), Boyd Waara (Philip), Mary Williams (Wall), Myron Williams (Wall) and Jim Woster ( Sioux Falls).

The administration at SDSU, including President Barry Dunn, and the SDSU Foundation and Alumni Association, are fully supportive of the Coalition’s efforts and plans; and are represented on the Coalition by Joe Cassady, head of animal science and faculty adviser; John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Mark Sandager and Clay Hoffman, SDSU Foundation;  and Ron Skovly, rodeo coach.

The work of the Coalition is guided by its Strategic Framework  and its four committees:

    • Rodeo Campus
    • SDSU Rodeo Boosters and Steers for State
    • Promotion, Marketing, and Recruitment
    • Fundraising and Development

Accomplishments to date include:

    • The South Dakota Board of Regents approval of SDSU’s request to dedicate 28 acres of university land for a rodeo campus.
    • Participation in the One-Day-for-State campaign in September 2020 which raised nearly $50,000 for the rodeo program.
    • Launching the SDSU Rodeo Boosters in November 2020.

For more information and to learn how you can become involved and supportive, contact one of the coalition’s co-chairs: Don Reichert (612-963-1244) dereichert@unitelsd.com or Sam Cordes (773-661-1771) smcordes@purdue.edu.