Luke Meadows continues his long association with South Dakota State University football as he enters his 10th season as offensive line coach. The longest-tenured assistant on John Stiegelemeier's coaching staff, Meadows is in his sixth year with the role of assistant head coach and also holds the title of offensive coordinator.
A Hot Springs native, Meadows began his coaching career as an undergraduate student at SDSU. After earning a bachelor's degree in 1999, he continued on as a graduate assistant with the Jackrabbits during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, coaching the running backs, including Jackrabbit career rushing leader and All-American Josh Ranek.
He then spent a season as offensive line coach at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, before returning to SDSU in July 2002.
In 2005, Meadows coached an offensive line that helped pave the way for the leading rushing attack in the Great West Football Conference, averaging 227.4 yards per game. During Meadows' time on staff, the Jackrabbits have posted four of the top 10 single-season rushing totals in school history and five of the top 10 single-game rushing performances. In addition, SDSU has recorded four of the top-10 scoring averages in the program's history, including 35.6 points per game in 2008. The 2008 squad also set an SDSU single-season record with 427 points in 12 games, scoring 40 or more points in a game six times.
With Meadows on the coaching staff, SDSU has established 11 team single-game and single-season offensive records, including rolling up 689 yards of total offense in the 2005 Hobo Day victory over Missouri-Rolla. Jackrabbit players he has coached also have established 30 new individual school records during his tenure.
Under Meadows' guidance, Jackrabbit offensive linemen have combined for seven first-team all-conference selections, 10 second-team selections and a pair of All-Americans. Mitch Erickson, who ended his collegiate career in 2007 with his third straight first-team all-Great West Football Conference selection, was nearly a consensus All-America pick within the Division I Football Championship Subdivision as a senior. Likewise, center Ryan McKnight earned multiple All-America honors during his senior season in 2010, including first-team recognition from the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Also during the 2010 season, the Jackrabbit offensive line ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision by yielding only six sacks the entire campaign.
Erickson was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos and later spent time with the Seattle Seahawks. Casey Knips and Casey Bender, both starters on the Jackrabbits' 2009 FCS playoff team, received invitations to NFL camps in 2010 with the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, respectively. Bender is currently a member of the Indianapolis Colts, while McKnight recently signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Meadows played a key role in SDSU's successful transition to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision by serving as the program's recruiting coordinator for much of his tenure.