Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines football program is not only boosting and solidifying its roster for the 2009 campaign but also its coaching staff as the Hardrockers recently announced the addition of new defensive coordinator and strength coach Charlie Giangrosso.
Giangrosso, originally from Wichita, Kan., has a wealth of knowledge about the game, bringing 20-plus years experience mostly coaching at the college level. He most recently served a three-year stint at NCAA Div. III Bethany College in West Virginia.
“I was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator,” Giangrosso said. “I’ve done both sides of the ball, but been mostly on the defensive (during career).”
Including in his duties at SD Mines, Giangrosso will also be doing some recruiting, with his area including: northern Wyoming, eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
Not only is the defensive side of the ball familiar to Giangrosso, but the rest of the Hardrocker staff is as well. He was in the same area as SD Mines head coach Dan Kratzer when Kratzer was having success coaching in Missouri 10 years ago.
“I knew coach Kratzer when he was at Lindenwood (University). He has always run a great program. He’s a good coach and a good man,” Giangrosso said.
What also appealed to Giangrosso about coming to Rapid City was the type of student the School of Mines attracts and the athlete the institution produces.
“I like being at a school with this type of academic integrity. You have good kids here and they play hard. Academics are important to them --- they know that there is life after football,” Giangrosso said.
Being a veteran coach, Giangrosso will bring a few new wrinkles to an already solid Hardrocker defense. On the grand scale however he wants to keep things a little simpler, using the old philosophy of “you get out what you put in.”
New SD Mines defensive coordinator Charlie Giangrosso walks the sidelines during the 2009 Alumni Game this past spring. Photo by Brad Blume.
Hardrocker football adds new D coordinator “I want these kids to come in and understand that if you play hard, you work hard and do things like that – you’re successful,” Giangrosso said. “One of our (team) goals is to pay attention to details. Take care of the little things like work on your technique, work on your fundamentals and be very sound. That is my goal for these kids. I want them to be successful.
“We are putting in some new stuff. We want to be more physical and get to the ball in a big hurry. We want the team to have a sense of urgency to get to the ball. Those are the type of things we are trying to get installed into the program.”
Playing in the Dakota Athletic Conference, one of the toughest in the NAIA, Giangrosso knows it is going to be a challenge. With teams like Dickinson State and Black Hills State having success and gaining national attention, it will be an uphill climb. But with the Hardrockers competing in every game they played in 2008 and earning three conference wins, it’s an attainable goal for the ‘Rockers to take that next step up.
“There will be some good challenges in this league. It’s not one of those conferences where you laugh your way through,” Giangrosso added. “Everybody can come up and bite you. I think it’s a great conference.”
Giangrosso has played high school and college football at the linebacker position. He has a wife (Patsy) and four boys (Eric, a sergeant in the army for 14 years, Patrick, an assistant wrestling coach at Missouri Valley College, Dominic, attending Missouri Valley College and Jacob, who just graduated high school and is starting a career in the army).
The Hardrocker team reports to fall camp Aug. 8 and will host their first game Aug. 29 in a non-conference battle against Montana Tech in a 6 p.m. bout on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.