Brad Erickson, current South Dakota State University (SDSU) Head Coach, will be stepping down from his role as of June 2017. After 41 years at the helm of the Jackrabbits’ men’s and women’s swimming programs, Erickson has decided to call it a career as the longest tenured coach in SDSU history.
Named Head Coach in 1976, Erickson guided the men’s squad to a North Central Conference Championship in 1979, followed by a women’s conference title in 1981. He was recognized as NCC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year after the 2000-01 season and also saw the successful transition of his program to Division I competition during the 2004-05 season. Erickson was most recently named Summit League Men’s Coach of the Year after the 2012 season landed the Jackrabbit men in 2nd place at the league championships.
“To be at one place for this long, you know, there has been some hard times, but overall, as I look back on it, there is times where it seems like it has just come and gone in a flash. It’s incredible to spend that much time in one place, but it’s a place – South Dakota State University – that has been so supportive to me,” says Erickson.
“That work ethic, and just the value of putting in that work and sometimes not getting a lot of recognition. It’s good lessons for life – you don’t always get things the way you’d like them to be. It teaches them that discipline, it teaches them that a good work ethic, we try to teach them good values as we go through, and I think that’s the biggest thing being in the pool this long has done.”
The retiring coach said, “I think the biggest thing is the impact that I’ve had on student athletes, and to think that you can have that kind of a influence on a young person’s life – I think that is the thing that I would say – I’ve had a impact, a positive impact, on people’s lives,” Erickson says.