Austin welcomes team as preseason camp opens for USD Coyote football

Austin welcomes team as preseason camp opens for USD Coyote football South Dakota Head Football Coach John Austin and his staff greeted student-athletes to the beginning of the fall preseason camp which began Aug. 10 on the campus of The University of South Dakota.

"We are excited to get things going," said Austin, whose squad recorded an 8-3 record in 2000.

The Coyotes, who were tied for third in the North Central Conference a year ago, had a tremendous turnaround 2000 season as they had a four-game improvement and brought back winning football to USD for the first time since 1995.

"In 2001, the challenge will be great but the opportunities will be greater," Austin said. "We need to continue to improve as a football team by showing consistency in all phases of our game. We are upbeat and positive about our prospects this season."

South Dakota opens the 2001 season against #22-ranked Winona State University at 7 p.m. in Yankton at Crane Youngworth Field. This is one of three home games that South Dakota will play on the road due to the DakotaDome roof replacement construction that has been delayed.

South Dakota will plays its home North Central Conference opener vs. St. Cloud State on Sept. 15 and the NCC encounter on Sept. 22 with Nebraska-Omaha at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

The Coyotes have six home games including Dakota Day in which the Coyotes will host Northern Colorado at 2 p.m. in the DakotaDome. The other home games include South Dakota State, Oct. 27, and North Dakota, Nov. 10 in the DakotaDome. As part of the North Dakota game, USD will host its Hall of Fame event in which eight individuals with ties to the university's athletic program will be honored.

As for the 2001 version of the Coyotes, they return 10 starters and 32 letterwinners. It is a unit that Austin believes has speed, size and intelligence, although experience may be lacking in some areas.

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