USD extends Bob Nielson's contract through 2027 season

May 8—VERMILLION — The University of South Dakota announced on Wednesday morning a four-year contract extension for head football coach Bob Nielson through the 2027 season.

The news comes months after Nielson guided the Coyotes to their best season in Division I history, as the team finished 2023 with a 10-3 record, reaching the FCS quarterfinals and finishing No. 4 in the final FCS coaches polls.

Per the new contract, Nielson's base salary will be $340,000. His previous base salary, for the 2023-24 academic year, was $332,910. According to the state of South Dakota's payroll data, he is the highest-paid coach in the state.

Nielson is also eligible for annual bonuses as determined by the athletic director and president and approved by the board. According to Jay Elsen of Midco Sports, the deal also includes $60,000 annually for "appearances," and an enhanced assistant pool.

Following the 2022 season, the university released an addendum to the 2019 contract, extending Nielson through the 2026 season. However, the addendum included no language about an increase in salary.

"Getting coach Nielson signed was one of my top priorities from day one of walking back on campus," said athletic director John Schemmel. "I'm thrilled to be able to do that as he and his staff continue to build a championship program here at USD. Bob has earned it!"

In an interview Tuesday with the Mitchell Republic, Schemmel was asked how close he believes USD football is to competing for a national championship.

"I think we're there," Schemmel said. "And I think coach Nielson and his staff deserve a lot of credit for that. Certainly, this group of seniors and the team have really built and bought into it ... And I think they're thinking not only about next year, and competing for a national championship next year, but trying to do it in a way to create sustainable success."

Nielson was introduced as the 30th head coach of USD football in December 2015. He has compiled a 42-45 record through eight seasons, and was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2023.

"I want to thank the university administration for their continued commitment and support," said Nielson. "I look forward to working with the outstanding group of coaches and student-athletes we have in USD football and providing future leadership for this program as we set our sights on even higher goals for the 2024 season and beyond."