"This is a unique opportunity for the two schools and football programs that have been impacted so greatly by Mike to give back to him," said USD Athletics Development Officer Dan Hanna. "The level of cooperation between South Dakota and Augustana in this matter has been heart-warming, and we hope our combined efforts will greatly assist the Freidel family."
The online auction on usdcoyotes.com will begin on Friday, Oct. 13, and will end at noon on Friday, Oct. 20. Items available on the usdcoyotes.com site include two Coyote football jerseys, two signed USD game balls, a pair of "game day experience" packages and two "honorary captain" opportunities. The game day experience package allows winners of the auction a sideline pass onto the field during the game as well as going on air for the radio broadcast with "The Voice of the Coyotes," Kevin Culhane. The honorary captains meanwhile will join the Augustana and South Dakota team captains and officials at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.
In addition, former Coyote and three-time Super Bowl Champion Matt Chatham has donated a helmet from his current National Football League team, the New York Jets, and a pair of tickets for the Jets-Minnesota Vikings game on December 17th that will also be available on the on-line auction.
The DakotaDome concourse will also feature a special "game day-only" silent auction on Saturday, Oct. 21. Two additional USD football jerseys and game balls will be available for bidding, as well as items donated by former Coyote and current Arizona Cardinal A.J. Schable. An autographed Schable football will be on the block, as will a Schable Cardinals jersey. The "game day-only" silent auction will begin when the gates open at 12:30 p.m. and will run through the end of halftime. Winners of all the auction be announced at the break of the end of the third quarter.
Also, a raffle for a pheasant hunt, which is being donated by Culhane Communications, will be another component of the fund-raising efforts. Tickets for the raffle will cost $5 apiece and will be available USD Ticket Office starting on Monday during normal office hourse (9 a.m. through 5 p.m.) or by calling the ticket office at (605) 677-5959. They will also be sold on the day of the game through halftime of the contest on Saturday. The pheasant hunt itself will take place near Irene, S.D.
Freidel suffered head trauma as well as injuries to his left eye and arm during an accident suffered this summer. He has spent five years at USD, including the past three as the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, and prior to his arrival at The U spent 16 years at Augustana. Freidel is currently at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., where he remains in treatment recovering from his accident.
Those who wish make donations independent of this fund-raising effort are encouraged to still do so. Checks should be made payable to the "Benefit Fund for Mike Freidel" and can be donated at any Wells Fargo location.