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Associated Press 235d

SDSU's John Stiegelmeier apologizes for DUI arrest

College Football, South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State coach John Stiegelmeier has issued an apology following his DUI arrest in late January.

A Brookings (S.D.) Register report said Stiegelmeier was arrested Jan. 27 in Brookings. He has a court appearance scheduled for March 6.

Stiegelmeier, who turned 61 on Feb. 7, admitted to driving under the influence when he was stopped while driving from home about 11:30 p.m. A court document said the responding officer found Stiegelmeier's car stuck in a ditch. The coach told the officer he was out to get food.

In a written statement to the Register, Stiegelmeier said, "First and foremost, I made a terrible mistake. The decision I made is not who I have been, who I am or who I will be moving forward.

"I apologize to my family, President [Barry] Dunn, Athletic Director [Justin] Sell, my entire staff, and the entire SDSU football family present and past. I also want to apologize to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that has impacted me and I have attempted to serve when called upon.

"I obviously can't control individuals' judgements, but the poor decision I made reflects only on me and not our staff or football team."

Dunn and Sell expressed support of Stiegelmeier to the newspaper.

Stiegelmeier is the winningest football coach in school history, with a 148-97 record in 21 seasons. Last year's team made its seventh FCS playoff appearance since 2009 and reached the semifinals for the first time.

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