My Take On Meierkort

 I was one of many that was caught off guard by the recent dismissal of USD head football coach Ed Meierkort.
After all, on the surface, he appeared to do a lot of things right.

  •  54-35 (.607) overall record
  • 40-5 (.889) at the DakotaDome
  • 2005 NCC Co-Champions
  • 2006 NCAA Division II Playoff Appearance
  • Guided USD to first win over BCS conference foe (Beat Minnesota 41-38 in 2010)

While those are some impressive accomplishments, you can't ignore the one glaring shortcoming.

For whatever reason, Meierkort struggled to find success on the road, where he was 15-30. That includes an 0-5 mark this season, lowlighted by second half collapses at Cal Poly and UND.

A win in either of those games would have guaranteed the Coyotes a share of the Great West Conference championship. Winning both would have given USD the title outright.

I'm not going to speculate how much those numbers factored in to USD athletic director David Sayler's decision to fire Meierkort. My gut tells me there's much more to it than that. And while there have been plenty of rumors, it would be irresponsible to share anything that hasn't been corroborated.

I guess we'll have to accept the fact that we might not ever know the whole story.

Selfishly, I can tell you that I am very sorry to see the end of the Meierkort era. He was the most media-friendly coach I have ever worked with. From the first time I met him, it was clear that he recognized our usefulness. We weren't a nuisance--at least he never gave that impression--we were an avenue for exposure.

Meierkort made weekly trips to Sioux Falls during the season for interviews, sparing me many 45-minute drives to Vermillion. When we did attend practice, very little was off limits. He even provided his cell phone number along with instructions to call him when/if I ever needed anything.

That kind of access is pretty unheard of these days, and it made my job exponentially easier. For that reason alone, I'm sorry to see Meierkort go.

We'll have to wait and see if the Coyotes' 26th head coach will share those qualities, but a guy can hope.

Filed Under Football | College