Mennenga joins pro ranks
Shawn Mennenga, the linebackers coach at South Dakota State the past two seasons, has submitted his resignation to become assistant special teams coach with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
"We are excited for the opportunity that Shawn Mennenga has been given," SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. "Life is about pursuing your dreams and the coaching profession truly defines that pursuit. Shawn is blessed with the opportunity to coach in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns. In addition, he will be coaching with one of his dear friends in the coaching profession. Shawn Mennenga did a great job at SDSU and I know he will do a great job for the Browns."
During his time at SDSU, Mennenga mentored linebackers who received all-Missouri Valley Football Conference recognition five times. Derek Domino earned first-team honors in both 2009 and 2010, while Chris Johnson and Jimmy Rogers each received honorable mention accolades in 2009, when the Jackrabbits made their first-ever appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. SDSU ranked among the national leaders in scoring defense for much of the 2009 season, finishing 16th after allowing an average of 17.4 points per game. Additionally, Michael Lien was an honorable mention selection in 2010.
Mennenga will be coaching at the professional level for the first time. A 1992 graduate of Missouri, his previous collegiate coaching stops included: Southwest Baptist (Mo.), graduate assistant and secondary coach from 1994-96; Western Kentucky, outside linebackers coach in 1997; Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), defensive coordinator from 1998-2000; Culver-Stockton (Mo.), defensive coordinator/head coach from 2001-04; and Fort Hays State (Kan.), defensive coordinator from 2005-08.
A search to find Mennega's replacement will begin immediately.