Montana Talks With SDSU’s “Coach Stig” in Whitefish
When it comes to FCS football in Montana- it's the Cats or the Griz. There's a few South Dakota State University Jackrabbits hopping around out there. But even the Cats and Griz fans have come to recognize the powerhouse that SDSU has become.
Coach John Stiegelmeier is the national champion head coach of the SDSU Jackrabbits who recently retired. "Coach Stig" is the winningest football coach in South Dakota State history. I had the honor of catching up with him at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish during the Montana Equipment Dealers Association annual convention.
The football coach and geometry teacher spoke to the group about "Coach Stig's Postulates" that he used to guide his football team over the years. (You gotta listen to the audio below to hear about his National Parks Postulate, especially since we were on the edge of Glacier National Park during our chat).
One of the postulates that stood out to me was about a young man who got off the bus in South Dakota. He was shorter than both me and Coach Stig. He was heavier than both me and Coach Stig. He failed all of their fitness tests. He ended up becoming one of their best players.
Ciach Stig calls it "the Jimmy Rogers postulate."
Coach Stig: If you looked at Jimmy you would not offer him a scholarship. If he walked off your bus you would not say that guy's going to be a player. He's a backup- whatever the scenario is. And again, the physical conditioning test, the true speed test- that wasn't good enough to play. But what was inside him was beyond good enough to play. The best leader we've ever had in our program. And consequently, he's the head football coach right now. And he's grown up so to speak- he's like a son to my wife and I. But the most important thing about him is his dedication to the game of football and South Dakota State University.
Coach Stig's point? You can't judge a player just by looking at him.
(To be fair to Coach Rogers- the guy looks like he is nothing but muscle through and through.)
Here's the full audio of our chat with Coach Stig:
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