Jon Anderson is in his fourth season as head football coach at the University of Sioux Falls.
He was formally introduced as USF’s 21st head coach on Tuesday, Dec. 6. During his first three seasons, Anderson has directed USF to a 24-11 record with a 24-9 mark in the NSIC.
In May of 2020, Anderson was appointed to the NCAA DII Football Committee. Anderson, who was appointed by the NCAA in early May, will serve on the committee from Sept. 1, 2020 through August 31, 2024. He becomes one of eight members on the national committee, which consists of two members from each of the four Super Regions. Anderson is one of four football coaches nationally on the committee. As a member, he will help sustain and advance the NCAA’s mission, traditions, values and reputation. Anderson will regularly participate in committee meetings and conference calls. Anderson will also serve on the football regional advisory committee for Super Region IV, assist in regional rankings and will also be responsible in assisting with the selection of teams to make the Division II football playoffs as a member of the national committee.
In his first season in 2017, he led USF to a 9-3 record and a fourth consecutive postseason appearance. The Cougars finished third overall in the NSIC with a 9-2 mark and tied for second in the NSIC South with a 5-2 mark. In 2018 in Anderson's second season, USF finished 7-4. USF was again 5-2 in the NSIC South. In 2019. Anderson led USF back to the NCAA DII playoffs for the second time in three seasons at USF. The Cougars registered their 26th straight winning season which ranks fourth across all divisions of the NCAA after finishing 8-4. The Cougars were third in the NSIC overall at 8-3 and third in the NSIC South at 5-2.
Review - Year-by-Year
In the 8-4 season in 2019, the Cougars opened 2-2 and finished 6-2 with just a 42-39 loss to No.2 Minnesota State and a heartbreaking 24-21 playoff road loss to No. 8 Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. Despite playing without six starters, the Cougars led 21-7 before CSM rallied late for the win. USF finished 8-3 in the league for third overall and was 5-2 in the NSIC South for third place. As a result, USF received votes in the final American Football Coaches Association Top-25 poll. The Cougars finished just out of the Top-25 with 40 ballot points. Extending the rankings placed USF at No. 27 in the AFCA poll.
For the second time in three seasons, the 2019 Cougars had one of the nation's top defenses as they ranked fourth in DII with a 260.7 yards per game allowed. USF was fifth in the final DII rankings in passing efficiency defense at 94.15 and 14th in scoring defense at 17.3 ppg. With 19 interceptions, USF ranked 10th in DII. The Cougars also finished 16th against the rush (98.8 yards). USF's offense averaged 427.6 yards per game, which ranked third in the NSIC. The Cougars, which averaged 35.3 points per game (2nd in the NSIC), had a near 50-50 balance on offense with 213.8 rushing yards (2nd, NSIC) and 211.4 passing (9th, NSIC) per game.
The Cougars placed two players, Caden Walters and Nolan Kern, on the All-NSIC South Division first team and 12 overall. Walters became the fourth USF player to be a candidate (36 nationally) for the Harlon Hill Trophy as DII Player of the Year. Nick Zimmerman was named CoSIDA Academic American (second team). Also USF Football had 17 student-athletes named to the Academic All-NSIC Team with seven on the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence.
In 2018, USF opened the season ranked No. 18 in the D2Football.com and No. 20 in the AFCA Poll as the season opened. USF, which led the NSIC and ranked fifth in NCAA DII in rushing at 274.2 yards per game, had the league’s top offense at 466.0 yards per game. The offense was ranked 19th in DII at season’s end.
Despite losing three games by a combined eight points, USF had a 5-1 home record and finished 2-3 on the road as they lost tight tussles with Winona State, 16-15; Minnesota State, 31-21; and Bemidji State, 25-21. In a 51-13 "Key to the City" win over Augustana, Anderson moved to 2-0 and USF, 6-1, in the series with their in-city rivals.
For the first time in school history, USF had players named finalists for both the Harlon Hill Trophy (Gabriel Watson, 5th) and Gene Upshaw Award (Trey Pipkins, 3rd). Gabriel Watson finished with a school record 1,957 yards and a DII best 26 TDs. He led the NCAA in rushing yards per game at 177.8 and scoring at 14.2 ppg.
Trey Pipkins, who was one of 14 players named to the all-league team, was USF’s first-ever invitee to the NFL Combine and drafted as the 27th pick of the third round - 91st overall - by the Los Angeles Chargers. USF had offensive tackle Adam Sheffield invited to a rookie mini camp of the Indianapolis Colts. USF had four student-athletes named first team All-NSIC and seven selected second team. Eighteen student-athletes were named Academic All-NSIC. Watson was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Year and also selected Don Hansen and D2CCA region player of the year while earning five All-America honors. Pipkins was named to five (two preseason and three postseason) All-America teams. Defensive back Hakeem Johnson (Don Hansen) was an honorable mention All-American as was Sheffield (D2Football.com). Johnson, Sheffield, Pipkins, Watson were named all-region.
In his first game as head coach at USF, the Cougars, ranked No. 17, knocked off then- No. 10 Minnesota Duluth, 26-7, on the road. In week two, his first game as head coach of USF at Bob Young Field, No. 9 USF defeated Northern State, 37-7. The Cougars followed up with a 38-7 victory on the road at U-Mary and a 34-0 home win over Minnesota Crookston in the Hall of Fame game. In week five, No. 5/7 USF defeated Southwest Minnesota State, 24-10 in another road game. The No. 6 Cougars dropped a 31-13 decision to No. 17 Winona State on Cougar Days. In week seven, the No. 18 Cougars defeated Wayne State, 31-7, on the road. In week eight, USF moved to 5-0 on the road with a 27-9 victory over Concordia St. Paul. In his first game as head coach in the “Key to the City” matchup with Augustana, the No. 13 Cougars recorded a 21-14 decision at Bob Young Field. USF defeated Upper Iowa, 19-7, to extend its road NSIC winning streak to 17 games. In a battle for a share of the NSIC title, the Cougars dropped a 27-23 decision to league champ and No. 1 Minnesota State at Bob Young Field. USF advanced to play Midwestern State, No. 5 nationally, and dropped a heart-breaking 24-20 decision.
USF had 14 players named All-NSIC with linebacker Dennis Gardeck named first team and 10 others picked to the second team. A total of 25 student-athletes were selected Academic All-NSIC. Linebacker Dennis Gardeck was named to five All-American teams, finalist for Cliff Harris Award, Harlon Hill candidate, and was later signed to a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals and remains on the team in his second NFL season. Max Mickey was invited to the Minnesota Vikings rookie game. Jason Towns, Gardeck, and Nicholas Stanke were selected all-region. Austin Schaffer and Nicholas Stanke were named the program's first-ever first team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Gardeck was named NISC Newcomer of the Year.
Previous to coming to USF, Anderson was head coach at West Virginia State where he had a 10-34 record. He is now 34-45 in his coaching career.
While a coach with USF from 2002-2012, Anderson helped lead the Cougars to a 134-26 record, three NAIA championships (2006, 2008, 2009), as well as the program first, nine-win team at the NCAA DII level. Most recently Anderson served as the head coach at West Virginia State for four seasons (10-34 record). He also made sure to keep the program involved in the community through projects such as Breast Cancer Awareness, Flood Relief, Coach to Cure MD, the Relay for Life, WVSU Cares Day, and work at Dunbar Primary School.
Anderson spent 11 years with USF, including his final three seasons as defensive coordinator. Overall, the Cougars posted a 134-26 record including a 21-5 playoff record with Anderson as part of the coaching staff. At the DII level, he was part of the staff and team that was 5-4 in the transition year from NAIA to NCAA DII in 2011 and the 9-2 team squad in 2012. The 2012 team earned USF’s first ever national ranking in its first year as member of the NSIC. In fact, the Cougars climbed as high as No. 17 in the AFCA poll and were ranked seven times in that national poll.
While Anderson coached at USF, the Cougars dominated its conference opponents, winning 92-of-95 conference games. In 2009, the school posted a perfect 15-0 record in claiming its second consecutive NAIA national championship.
In 2012, Anderson’s defensive unit was among the conference leaders in scoring defense, surrendering only 20.2 points a game. The Cougars’ defense was also among the league leaders in forcing turnovers taking the ball away from opponents 29 times, including 23 interceptions. The 2012 defensive unit built on the success of the 2011 team when the Cougars’ defense forced 21 turnovers and gave up just 21.6 points per game.
During Anderson’s three years as defensive coordinator, the Cougars posted a 27-7 record and limited opponents to an average of 16 points per game. Prior to being named the Cougars’ defensive coordinator, Anderson served eight years as the special team’s coordinator and linebackers coach. In that role, he coached five All-Americans and eight All-Conference players.
Anderson, a native of Maryville, Missouri, played college football for four years at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, and coached the secondary at his alma mater during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
He moved to Madison, South Dakota, to join the Dakota State University staff as the linebackers and special teams coach for the 2001 season. He arrived at USF for the 2002 season and earned his master’s degree from South Dakota State University in 2003. He worked with legendary head coach Bob Young, and former head coaches Kalen DeBoer and Jed Stugart.
He and his wife, Amanda, have two sons, Trevor and Tyce.