Hardrockers parted ways with football coach Tinker after four seasons

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Hardrockers have parted ways with head football coach Zach Tinker. The announcement was made on Wednesday.

Tinker was the head coach of the program for the last four seasons. He had been at the school for a total of eight seasons.

Football
Football (Photo by Pixabay)

“Marnie and I are grateful that we have had eight years in Rapid City working with such incredible people at South Dakota Mines,” Tinker said. “Hardrocker football is 100 percent unique and one-of-a-kind. We were blessed to be involved and engaged with the Hardrocker football family. We have admiration and love for the young men that chose to be Hardrockers and committed to the ‘Rocker football family and wish continued success as they embark on new challenges.”

A search is underway to find his replacement. Levi Suiaunoa – who is the defensive coordinator – has been named interim head coach.

In his four seasons at the school, Tinker went 18-26 at the school.

“Support for our scholar-athletes through this transition is of the utmost importance,” South Dakota Mikes Athletic Director Joel Lueken said. “A national search is underway, and we hope to hire a head football coach soon.”  

Tinker could not win more than five wins in a season as the head coach. He had three straight 5-6 records from 2016 through 2018.

The team fell off in 2019 with a 3-8 record.

“We only have room for gratitude to the supporters of Hardrocker football, SD Mines and the Rapid City community that made our time here so special,” Tinker added. “Finally, I am so proud to have been the coach of these young men. Our football family of players, their loved ones, and our coaching staff inspired me every day and we poured our heart and soul into our program that last eight seasons. The future of the team is bright. Rock on — next play.”

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