University of South Dakota Athletic Director David Sayler announced Tuesday that head football coach Ed Meierkort's contract will not be renewed. The current contract expires June 30, 2012.
A committee will be formed immediately to begin a national search for a new head coach, according to Sayler.
The move comes on the heels of a 6-5 record in the 2011 season and is right before the Coyotes will move from the Great West Conference to the Missouri Valley Football Conference as their transition to NCAA Division I is complete this year.
"I thank Ed for his hard work during his eight years with the South Dakota football program," said Sayler following the announcement. "With the Division I transition almost complete and entering the Missouri Valley Football Conference next year, I felt it was important for the program to have a new direction in leadership."
Meierkort was hired in 2004 and guided the Coyotes through the transition to a 54-35 record in his eight seasons at the helm of the Coyote program. He led the Coyotes to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2006 as they went 1-1 in the playoffs with a win at Northwood (Mich.), prior to the transition in 2007. In 2010, Meierkort led the Coyotes to a 41-38 upset at Football Bowl Subdivision and Big Ten Conference member Minnesota.
Prior to coming to South Dakota, Meierkort was the head coach at University of Wisconsin-Stout where he compiled a 55-55 record in 11 seasons from 1993-2003. In his 19 seasons as a head coach, Meierkort has compiled a 109-90 record.