Sioux Falls Cougars

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Sioux Falls Cougars
UniversityUniversity of Sioux Falls
NCAADivision II
Athletic directorJon Hart
LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota
Varsity teams18
Football stadiumBob Young Field
Basketball arenaStewart Center
Baseball stadiumAspen Park
Softball stadiumSherman Park
Soccer stadiumUSF Soccer Field
Other venuesLillibridge Track
ColorsPurple and white

The Sioux Falls Cougars are the athletic teams that represent the University of Sioux Falls, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in intercollegiate sports as a member of the NCAA Division II ranks,[1] primarily competing the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) since the 2012–13 academic year.[2] Prior to joining the NCAA, the Cougars previously competed in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 2000–01 to 2010–11; and in the defunct South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) from 1977–78 to 1999–2000.

Move to NCAA[edit]

On April 28, 2009 the university board of trustees voted to leave the NAIA and apply to join the NCAA Division II.[3] For two years, USF remained a member of the NAIA and Great Plains Athletic Conference. In 2011–2012, the school became a provisional member of the NCAA, playing full NCAA schedules and required to operate under NCAA Division II regulations but ineligible for postseason events.[4][5]

In July 2012, the university became one of six universities to join the NCAA as full members, with official membership commencing on September 1, 2012. As part of the successful transition to the NCAA, the Cougars became eligible for postseason conference and NCAA postseason competition,[6] and began conference play in the NSIC for the majority of sports and in the GNAC for men's soccer.[2]


USF competes in 18 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track & field, and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, wrestling and volleyball.

Former sports included men's tennis, which was dropped once USF moved to NCAA Division II in 2011 and in the spring of 2013 USF dropped Men's Soccer after one year in DII [7] The tennis team had made five trips to the NAIA Championships in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010.


The University of Sioux Falls Cougars football team won the NAIA Division II Football National Championship in 1996, and the NAIA Football National Championship in 2006, 2008 and 2009.[8] All four of USF's national championships have been undefeated seasons. The football program has had four NAIA Players of the Year Award winners, running back Nick Kortan in 2002, quarterback Chad Cavender in 2007, quarterback Lorenzo Brown in 2009[9] and receiver Jon Ryan in 2010. The program has won 19 conference titles, including 10 in the SDIC (1981, 1984, 1988–1989, 1994–1999) and 9 in the GPAC (2001–2004, 2006–).[10] From 2008–2010 the team sported a 42-game winning streak which tied an NAIA record.[11]

The current head coach is Jon Anderson who replaced Jed Stugart in December of 2016. Stugart took over for alum Kalen DeBoer in 2010. DeBoer led USF to a 67-3 record in his five years with 3 national titles as head coach. Legendary coach Bob Young led the Cougars from 1983–2004 guiding them to their first national championship in 1996.[12]

Year Coach Record Championship Game Opponent Score
1996 Bob Young 14–0 Western Washington 47–25
2006 Kalen DeBoer 14–0 Saint Francis (IN) 23–19
2008 Kalen DeBoer 14–0 Carroll 23–7
2009 Kalen DeBoer 15–0 Lindenwood 25–22
Total national championships – 4
Players drafted into the NFL
Year Round Pick Player Position NFL club
2019 3 91 Trey Pipkins OT Los Angeles Chargers
1984 9 237 Brian Hansen P New Orleans Saints


The USF baseball team, now directed by head coach Grant Hieb, won the 2007 GPAC regular and postseason titles with a record of 17–7 (26–19 overall).[13] They had a breakout season in the spring of 2010, setting a school record for wins in a season with a 33–17 record. The Cougars finished second in the GPAC with a 19–5 conference record. In 2012, the Cougars moved to NCAA DII and joined the NSIC.

Basketball (men's)[edit]

The men's basketball team advanced to 9 NAIA Tournaments, including a Final Four Appearance in 2004.[14] USF won two regular season GPAC Titles (2006, 2007) and 4 postseason GPAC Titles (2004, 2007, 2009, 2011).[13] The current coach is Chris Johnson, who has led the Cougars to tournament appearances in each of his three seasons, including Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2009 and 2010. He has 226 career wins at USF with 242 in his career with 172 losses. He is 226-157 at USF (5/5/22) and was named NSIC Coach of the Year in 2019-20.

Basketball (women's)[edit]

The women's basketball team advanced to the NAIA Tournament in 2001, 2003, and 2011.[15] The 2003 team is the only Final Four team in school history. The 2011 team, under current coach Travis Traphagen, reached the Elite 8 and set a school record for wins with 27. He has 251 career wins and all at USF. The Cougars were ranked No. 11 in WBCA poll during the 2019-20 season for their highest ranking at the DII level. USF made an appearance in the NCAA DII Championships after claiming the 2015-16 NSIC Tournament title and earning the automatic berth to the regional.

Golf (women's)[edit]

The 2007–2008 women's golf team won the GPAC Championship. Wade Merry is the head coach for both men's and women's programs beginning in 2021.


The women's softball team, directed by head coach Shannon Pivovar, advanced to the NAIA Softball World Series in 2005. That team also won the only postseason GPAC title in school history and finished with a 29-16 record, a school record for victories.[16]

Tennis (women's)[edit]

The women's tennis team, led by head coach Kevin Grebin, made four trips to the NAIA Championships in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010.[17] They won regular season GPAC titles in 2005, 2009, and 2010 and postseason GPAC titles in 2004, 2005, and 2010.

Track and field[edit]

The track and field team, which is directed by Doug Petersen, has four NAIA individual national champions: Vinnie Olson (2004 - Indoor Shot Put), Colin Koth (2011 - Indoor 400), and Brigitte Gross (2011 - Indoor and Outdoor Pole Vault). Since joining the NCAA, the track and field program has added 4 more national champions: Brigitte Gross (2014 - Indoor Pole Vault), Jagger Gran (2015 - Indoor Pole Vault), Scott Greenman (2017 - Indoor Pole Vault), and Courtney Crandall (2017 - Indoor Pole Vault)[18] The women's outdoor team won the GPAC title in 2011.


  1. ^ "New members for 2012-13 could include Association's first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "It's Official; USF Cougars are NCAA D-II Members". University of Sioux Falls. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  3. ^ Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  4. ^ "USF Accepted Into NCAA Division II Candidacy Membership". Great Plains Athletic Conference. July 10, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "USF Accepts Invite to Northern Sun Conference". KDLT-TV. January 20, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "New members for 2012-13 could include Association's first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "Sioux Falls cutting wrestling, men's tennis - townnews-aberdeennews". March 11, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  9. ^ "Sioux Falls QB Lorenzo Brown is NAIA player of the year". December 18, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "Football Awards". Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  11. ^ "Carroll College halts Sioux Falls' 42-game win streak to take NAIA title. USF moved to the NCAA DII level and joined the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in 2012 and now has a 69-19 record in the NSIC. USF has a 76-26 mark in 102 games at the DII level. Additionally, USF has made four playoff appearances in the past five years (2015-19), missing only in the 7-4 season in 2018. The Cougars won their first-ever NSIC title in 2016 with head coach Jed Stugart leading USF to a 11-0 league mark and 12-1 overall. USF advanced to the final 16 in DII and had their first-ever playoff win and home playoff win with a 34-21 verdict in the opening round of the NCAA DII Championship in 2016 at Bob Young Field". Usatoday.Com. December 18, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Bob Young". Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Great Plains Athletic Conference - All-Time Champions". Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  14. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  16. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  17. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "FANSonly - Your Ticket to College Sports". Retrieved February 13, 2017.

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