The Black Hills State University Yellow Jackets have made tremendous progress in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) since moving to Division II athletics five years ago.
This year the Yellow Jackets moved up to the top 10 for the conference All-Sports Competition Cup after finishing in last place in 2014-15 and in 13th place last year.
“The Yellow Jacket’s steady upward trend in athletics is most impressive. We will continue to advance now that we have a solid foundation set. Everything is in place,” BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., said recently. “We have great programs, the right coaches, and excellent facilities. The only thing we need to do is to increase scholarships.”
He noted that the university’s goals include being in the top five in the RMAC, to increase championships, and to increase the availability of scholarships for student athletes.
The RMAC All-Sports Competition Cup is awarded to the institution that accumulates the most points over the year based on its teams’ outcome in the RMAC’s four core sports, along with six wild card sports. Following is the overall scoring: Team Total Points 1. Colorado School of Mines 927.5; 2. Colorado Mesa 815; 3. UCCS 797.5; 4. MSU Denver 760; 5. CSU-Pueblo 733; 6. Regis 729; 7. Adams State 652; 8. Fort Lewis 649; 9. Western 609.5; 10. Black Hills State 541.5;
11. Chadron State 493.5; 12. Westminster 491; 13. Colorado Christian 461; 14. New Mexico Highlands 410; 15. South Dakota Mines 312.5.
BHSU’s move to the NCAA was a multiple-year process that included a two-year candidacy period followed by a one-year provisional season. The RMAC extended an invitation for BHSU to be considered for membership. Following the successful transition, the university became a full member of the NCAA DII in 2013. Since then BHSU has added two sports: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Triathlon.
BHSU offers 13 sports and is a member of the NIRA (National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association) in the sport of Men’s & Women’s Rodeo.
Nearly 270 scholar -athletes are members of Yellow Jacket athletics.
During the 2017-18 season, Yellow Jackets earned five First Team RMAC All-Academic honors and 92 scholar-athletes landed on their sports’ Honor Roll. Athletically, the 17-18 season saw seven members of the Green and Gold garner First Team All-RMAC honors. BHSU also earned 23 Second Team spots and 14 were named Honorable Mention.
Overall during the last five years, there have been 37 First Team All-Academic and 325 Honor Roll members at BHSU. There have been 57 First Team All-RMAC and 59 Second Team All-RMAC honorees from the University.
Yellow Jackets have also received two Academic Athlete of the Year awards (indoor and outdoor track and field 2014-15), a defensive player of the year (football 2017), a co-defensive player of the year (volleyball 2016), and a coach of the year (football 2017) award.
The fall athletics season kicks off Friday, Sept. 7 in Spearfish when BHSU Women’s Volleyball takes on Westminster College. For more information on BHSU Athletics visit www.BHSUathletics.com