Jacks Summer Social: SDSU coaches speak to Mitchell fansThe coaches at South Dakota State University take pride in the school’s following all over South Dakota.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The coaches at South Dakota State University take pride in the school’s following all over South Dakota.
“We expect to be a university that’s followed by the entire state,” SDSU women’s basketball coach Aaron Johnston said.
Johnston, along with three other Jackrabbits coaches, spoke Monday night at the Jacks Summer Social at Blarney’s Sports Bar & Grill in Mitchell.
“Our coaches and staff enjoy doing these,” Johnston said. “We’re just trying to stay connected with people and keep them engaged in what we’re doing.”
The other coaches to speak at the event included boys’ and girls’ swimming/diving coach Brad Erickson, boys’ basketball coach Scott Nagy and the football teams’ special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Shannon Moore.
The social began at 5:30 p.m. with free appetizers. Around 6 p.m. the coaches spoke for more than 30 minutes and after they were finished, guests were able to chat with the coaches one-on-one for about another hour and a few door prizes were handed out.
“It’s not just Brookings that supports us,” Nagy said. “The whole state supports us and it’s important for us to come out and meet some people.”
The coaches talked about connections they have with the area and the great athletes from Mitchell that have contributed for the Jackrabbits.
Erickson mentioned that the top finisher the school has ever had for the swimming/diving team at the national meet was Brad Reynolds, a Mitchell native who finished runner-up.
Erickson also talked about Katie (Budahl) Price, a Mitchell native who recently competed in the Olympic time trials.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience for her and it was great,” Erickson said.
“I admire her for what she can do and it speaks volumes for her as a person to be able to do what she did.”
Johnston, who has verbal commitments from two Mitchell Kernels players in Kerri Young and Macy Miller, talked about recruiting in the area and how big Mitchell Christian graduate Jill Young was for the program.
“Success is all about having great people,” Johnston said. “You can’t just be a good player. You have to be a good person. We look at that just as much as talent.”
Johnston added that Mitchell is a great sports area and said he hopes to keep strong ties with its athletes.
Several people attended the social to listen to the coaches talk about their programs and the staff ended the discussion with a strong, “Go big, go blue, go jacks.”