Schafer steps down at Mines

A South Dakota School of Mines and Technology coaching institution hung up his running shoes today after three and a half decades as a part of the track and field program.

After 35 years on the staff at South Dakota School of Mines, Hardrocker head coach Jerry Schafer announced his retirement.

Schafer finished his 34th season at the helm of the Hardrocker track & field programs after previously serving eight years as an assistant coach at the high school and collegiate levels. He was also the head coach of the Hardrocker cross country programs for 28 years, before switching roles to director of cross country.

"I've really been looking at just what needs to happen for our program to move forward and I just feel like I don't have the energy to push it the direction it needs to go at this point," Schafer said. "It's in a good place but I don't want to see it go backwards so it was time for me to step aside and let some younger blood take over. It is family ... it's in my blood."

During his Hardrocker tenure, teams under Schafer's leadership have sent 79 competitors to nationals, had 22 national placers, and 19 All-American honors.

A search for a new track and field men's and women's head coach will begin immediately.