Woke up this morning to a pair of USD press releases in my e-mail. (At least it wasn’t 14 inches of snow…..)
** First, the USD football program released its 2010 schedule. The docket features 11 games, including five pretty solid gets at home. The Coyotes open with two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) games, Sept. 4 at Central Florida and Sept. 11 at Minnesota. In addition, USD resumes its rivalry with North Dakota State on Sept. 25, when the Coyotes make the trek north to Fargo, N.D.
Here’s the home games USD will play in 2010: vs. Northwestern Oklahoma State (Sept. 18), North Dakota (Oct. 2 for Dakota Days), Northern Iowa (Oct. 16), Northern Colorado (Oct. 30) and Cal Poly (Nov. 6).
You’ll hear this a lot in the coming days, but this is obviously a fan-friendly schedule. Five home games against some good competition, and some notable road games. And two of those away games — Minnesota and NDSU — are easily drivable for fans. And the media (YAY).
And the season finale, Nov. 13, at Lamar University in Texas is the start to a home-and-home series, USD athletic director told me earlier this afternoon. Lamar will make the return trip to Vermillion in 2011.
** The second item of note on Tuesday was the news that USD is not renewing the contract of soccer coach Marcia Oliveira. The Brazilian-born Oliveira spent two seasons in Vermillion, where she led the Coyotes to a 9-23-1 overall record. Obviously, things weren’t getting done on the field. Nielsen said USD is “excited for the future,” and also mentioned that the program has hopes for a competitive final year in the Great West Conference before USD moves on to the Summit League. Oliveira was always easy to talk to, and knew a ton about the sport. I imagine she’ll catch on somewhere else fairly quickly.
Look for more on these two issues in Wednesday’s USD notebook in the Press & Dakotan.
** In other news, I see on the S.D. Board of Regents Employment page that USD has opened a search for a new assistant football coach. Not many specifics with this. But I’m told this is an already existing position, and not a newly-created one.