By Brad Blume, Sports Information Director
RAPID CITY --- South Dakota School of Mines head football coach Dan Kratzer announced Tuesday he plans to retire at the end of the 2011-12 season. Kratzer is currently in the middle of his seventh year at the helm of the Hardrocker football program.
"This has been a tremendous experience and challenge here at SD Mines," Kratzer said. "I certainly have enjoyed it to its fullest, and I hope any progress that we have made here can be carried on to the next level."
"Dan's plans for retirement caught me a bit off guard but I respect his reasons and his desire to take a break from football," said Hardrocker Athletics Director Dick Kaiser.
While leading the Hardrockers, Kratzer has amassed a win-loss record of 22-48 (.314). During that time, Kratzer turned a program that had finished near the bottom of the Dakota Athletic Conference from 2001-2006 into a team that had two consecutive .500 seasons followed by a very successful 2010 campaign where the Hardrockers delivered their best performance in 26 years -- posting a 7-3 record and competing for a DAC Conference title.
"Dan Kratzer will be leaving a definite positive impact on the Hardrocker football program. The three-year run of success from 2008-2010 provided more victories than had been experienced in nearly three decades," Kaiser added.
The 'Rockers were also nationally ranked for most of the 2010 season in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 poll and ended the year ranked 20th and just missed out on a berth to the NAIA Football Championship Series Playoffs.
"Coach Kratzer has worked extremely hard to bring the Hardrocker football program back to a level of competitiveness. This is not an easy job with the high admission requirements as well as the very focused academic majors available," Kaiser said. "I believe Coach Kratzer has operated within the SD Mines academic system and requirements to upgrade the overall quality and quantity of the student-athletes that are represented within the football program."
Kratzer will complete the season as the Hardrocker head coach for the remaining three games on the 2011 schedule.
"I know Coach Kratzer and his staff will do everything within their power to complete his run as head coach at SD Mines in a very successful fashion," Kaiser said.
"I have had the experience of sharing a life with some very quality young men, and I will miss them dearly," Kratzer said. "I wish all those here at SD Mines that I have worked with and depended on the best of life in the future."
Before coming to SD Mines, Kratzer was a receivers' coach and assistant head coach at Kent State University in Ohio for five years. Prior to that he spent six seasons as head coach at Lindenwood University in Missouri from 1995-2000, where he guided the team to its first ever NAIA playoff game in 1998. He served as head coach at Hastings College in Nebraska, from 1990-1994, where he won conference championships in 1991 and 1992, and guided the team to three NAIA playoff appearances. He has had additional experience as an assistant at Miami (Ohio) in 1986, as the head coach at Ohio Northern University in 1984 and 1985, and as an assistant at Indiana University in 1983.
A native of Lathrop, Mo., Kratzer received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Missouri Valley in 1971, and earned his master's degree in education from Central Missouri State University in 1976. He was selected in the 8th round of the 1972 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and moved to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1973. In 1982 he served as the administrative assistant for Coach Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers summer camp.
Kratzer and his wife Suzanne have two grown children, daughter Danielle and son Reggie, who played for his father at Lindenwood University.
Dan Kratzer (2005-2011)