Michael James Freidel, son of Robert James Freidel and Mary (Hawley) Freidel Mimmack, was born on July 14, 1956 (Mitchell, SD) He died on Oct. 6, 2013, at the age of 57, in the Sanford Care Center (Vermillion.) The family wishes to thank the staff for the constant care he received these past seven years.
Mike grew up as a proud Packer in Armour, and excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track (1974 SD Class B 110M Hurdle Champ). He graduated in 1974 and went on to Dakota State University (Madison), where even though he was a walk-on freshman football player, he finished an All-American. He received a B.S. with a double major in Social Science and Physical Education (1979).
His first professional coaching job was at Southwest Minnesota State University (Marshall, MN) as Defensive Coordinator. While there, he met Joni (Joanne) Hoffman and they married on Aug. 16, 1980 (St. James, MN).
In 1985, Mike accepted a position as Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Augustana College (Sioux Falls), where he spent the majority of his professional career (1985-1992 and 1996-2003). In 1990, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration.
His professional career was completed as the Assistant Head Coach at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion (1993-1995 and 2004-2006). Much of his legacy includes the countless students he mentored, especially the football players he called “his boys.”
A renaissance man, Mike was also a cowboy, musician, published historical author, and played a mean guitar in several bands. He was a free agent for San Francisco 49ers, inducted into the Dakota State Athletic Hall of Fame, and published articles on the American Indian Wars. He was most proud of the accomplishments of his teams, especially the Augie Vikings (1992 National #1 Ranking, NCAA II playoff berths in 1988, 1989) and USD Coyotes (1995 national rankings and NCC Championship in 2005.) As soon as spring football was over, Mike would make his annual trek to the Graves’ Ranch (Kaycee, WY). Time spent there refueled his soul.
Mike’s source of pride was his family; the one he was born into, the one he and Joni created, and the friends he chose as family. Being the oldest of nine children, he was the role model and father-figure to his siblings. As a parent, he showed his children how to lead simple yet meaningful lives. Through his actions of supporting, guiding, and analyzing each child in academics, sports, relationships and life’s decisions; his influence, wisdom and love will be forever etched upon their hearts. Mike is survived by his wife, Joni; and their five children, Kelsey (fiancé Joey Nelson), Jackson, Jerrod, Kylen and Hailey Freidel (Vermillion); his mother, Mary and step-father, Chuck Mimmack (Armour); siblings, Dawn Freidel (New Milford, CT), Doug (Peggy) Freidel (Corsica), Cindy (Dave) Balt (Mitchell), Brad (Denise) Freidel (Moberly, MO), Dan (Brenda) Freidel (Eden Prairie, MN), Bill (Tracy) Freidel (Rapid City), Patrick Freidel (Mitchell), and Rita (Jamie) Rexwinkel (Corsica); step-siblings , Dan (Connie) Mimmack (Baltimore, MD), Deb Mimmack (Baltimore), John (Laurie) Mimmack (Sioux Falls), and Lisa Mimmack (Audubon, IA); and in laws, Dean and Deanna Hoffman (St. James, MN), Troy Hoffman (Rochester, MN) and Stephanie (Brad) Moser (Yankton); 33 nephews and nieces, 13 great nephews and nieces.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Robert Freidel; his grandparents, Alfred and Ann Freidel and Dice and Arietta Hawley; his nephew, Derrick Freidel; and his sister-in-law, Stacy Hoffman.
Funeral Mass was 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion with burial following in the Calvary Cemetery in Vermillion. Visitation began at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. all at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Mike Freidel Football Scholarship Funds at Dakota State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, Augustana College, or the University of South Dakota.