BREAKING NEWS: South Dakota football coach Meierkort contract not renewed

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.

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