Viking Coaches Honored by South Dakota Sportswriters
Monday, January 3, 2011
Augustana coaches Mike Aldrich and Tracy Hellman were among the South Dakota Sportswriters award winners for 2010. Selections are made through voting by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association, which includes the daily newspapers in Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton.
Aldrich was chosen College Men's coach of the year, while Hellman earned the award for College Women.
In his first season as Augustana's head football coach, Aldrich took the Vikings to their first playoff appearance in 21 years, a school record 11 wins, and a 38-6 defeat of four-time NCAA Division II national champion Grand Valley State for the first playoff win in school history. Augustana ranked sixth in the final Division II poll of the year, its highest listing ever. Aldrich was named Region 5 Coach of the Year and is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual national coach of the year.
Under Hellman, Augustana's women's cross country program has become a national power. This fall the Vikings finished seventh nationally, after winning a fourth consecutive conference championship, three in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the final North Central Conference title. This year Augustana's Runa Falch was the NSIC's individual champion. Hellman has won an NSIC coach of the year award in each of the last three years, as the Viking men have also won the last two league titles.