BROOKINGS, S.D. (KSFY) - South Dakota State University football coach John Stiegelmeier was arrested for DUI earlier this year, court documents show.
Stiegelmeier, 61, was arrested on January 27. Records show he had a blood alcohol level of "0.08 percent or more."
According to court documents, an officer saw a silver Chevy Malibu in the south ditch near 8th Street South and Regency Court in Brookings trying to get out just before 11:20 p.m.
The officer asked Stiegelmeier to sit in the front seat of the patrol car. He was allegedly "unsteady on his feet" after leaving his vehicle.
The officer could smell alcohol on Stiegelmeier, who admitted he had been drinking an alcoholic beverage called "Joose," according to court documents.
The officer had him perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and exercises, and "could not obtain a PBT from Stiegelmeier."
He was arrested for DUI-1st just after 11:30 p.m.
Stiegelmeier said his poor decision to drive intoxicated reflects on him and not the football team or staff.
He is the winningest football coach in South Dakota State University history, leading the Jackrabbits to a 148-97 record in 21 seasons.
SDSU President Barry Dunn confirmed the arrest with KSFY News. He issued the following statement:
“Coach Stiegelmeier contacted me shortly after the incident occurred and the two of us met the following day,” SDSU President Barry Dunn said. “I expressed my disappointment during that meeting and John takes full responsibility for his actions. He understands the magnitude of what happened, the potential impact it could have had and the disappointment this brings to himself and the university as a leader of young people.
Coach Stiegelmeier has been a valued member of the university and community for many years and we welcome his continued service as our head football coach,” Dunn added. “He will use this experience to educate others and inspire many more young men in his role as head coach about making the right decisions in life.”
SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell issued the following statement regarding the incident:
“This certainly is an incident that does not reflect the values of our program and is out of character for Coach Stiegelmeier. He has led our football program with integrity and class throughout his career, and I know he will use this incident as a teachable moment for the numerous young men he has mentored. I am fully behind him as he goes through this difficult time.”
Some students in Brookings were shocked on Thursday.
"It was kind of surprising, honestly," said Josh Prohaska, a senior.
"It's definitely an unfortunate circumstance both for him personally and the athletic administration for how it kind of reflects on the program," said Samuel Ivanecky.
And some people don't think Stiegelmeier should get special treatment.
"I heard that he might get let off on the easy route, just kind of a slap on the wrist," Perohaska said. "But you know, I do think he should be treated like everybody else."
But others think the winningest coach in SDSU history deserves a second chance.
"I've only heard good things about him and this is the first time anything negative has come out about him," Ivanecky said.
"I think it was just an, 'oops,'" Beverly Sommer-Goss said. "It was a one time deal, it's not a big deal give the guy a break. None of us walk on water."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)