2017 Football Coaches
Dennis McCulloch Image
Dennis McCulloch
Head Coach - 21st Season
Alma Mater: Northern State University
Phone: 701-845-7425

The all-time wins leader in Viking Football history, Dennis McCulloch will mark his 24th year at Valley City State and his 21st as head football coach during the 2017 season. He also serves as assistant athletic director.

Over his time as head coach, McCulloch has guided the Vikings to a 120-83 record, six conference championships and four NAIA playoff appearances. He has been named conference Coach of the Year six times in his career. In McCulloch's tenure, 16 Vikings have earned NAIA All-American honors while 45 players have been named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

McCulloch won his 117th game on Oct. 15, 2016, passing VCSU Hall of Fame coach Jim Dew (116 victories) for the most wins in program history. McCulloch is currently 10th on the active list of all-time winningest NAIA coaches.

The 2016 season saw the Vikings finish with a 6-4 overall record and a 4-2 record in conference play, finishing second in the NSAA standings. The Vikings won two games against Top 25 teams, including a 17-13 victory at No. 14-ranked Southeastern University (Fla.) to end the season. Viking quarterback Kurtis Walls and linebacker Nicholas McBeain both rewrote the Viking record books during the 2016 season, setting new career records in most of the major passing and tackling categories. McBeain was named 2nd Team All American at linebacker.

McCulloch's team finished the 2015 season with a 7-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in conference play. VCSU finished second in the NSAA standings, ending a run of four straight conference titles.

In 2014, McCulloch led the Vikings to a 6-0 record in the North Star Athletic Association, an outright conference title and an NAIA playoff appearance. It was the fourth straight conference title for the Vikings, and McCulloch was voted conference Coach of the Year for the fourth season in a row. VCSU finished 2014 with a 9-2 overall record, losing to No. 1-ranked Carroll College in the opening round of the playoffs. VCSU finished the season ranked No. 16 in the nation.

McCulloch won his 100th career game on Sept. 20, 2014, with a 33-21 victory at Dickinson State University.

In 2013, McCulloch led the Vikings to a share of the inaugural North Star Athletic Association conference championship. The Vikings went 3-1 in conference play and were 5-5 overall. Senior running back Derek Elliott broke or tied at least 13 school records during the 2013 season and was named First Team All American by the nation’s coaches. McCulloch was voted conference Coach of the Year for the third year in a row in 2013.

In 2012, McCulloch guided the Vikings to a 7-3 record, and the A.I.I. Conference Title. VCSU was ranked No. 24 in the country in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches' Postseason Poll. McCulloch was voted A.I.I. Coach of the Year by his peers in 2012.

The Vikings finished the 2011 campaign 9-2, and qualified for the NAIA National Playoffs for the third time under Coach McCulloch. After posting nine straight victories, the Vikings finished the regular season ranked No. 12 in the country. Coach McCulloch also added another DAC championship to his tenure finishing 6-0 in the conference, and he was named Coach of the Year.

The 2005 Vikings captured the Dakota Athletic Conference crown by posting a 6-1 conference record – sharing the title with Dickinson State. McCulloch earned DAC Coach of the Year honors in 2005.

McCulloch's 2000 and 2001 Vikings completed impressive 9-2 seasons, capturing a share of the 2000 DAC-10 championship and making the NAIA National Playoffs in both seasons. As a result of his efforts, McCulloch was named the DAC-10 Coach of the Year in 2000.

Prior to becoming the head coach, McCulloch compiled a 9-1 regular season record and a NDCAC championship in his third season as the defensive coordinator with the Vikings in 1996.

A native of Milbank, S.D., McCulloch received his Bachelor's Degree from Northern State and went on to receive his Master of Science Degree from NSU in 1989. In McCulloch's time at Northern State, he developed a diverse background of experience while coaching linebackers, defensive line, defensive backs and working as the recruiting coordinator.

In 1993, McCulloch became the head football coach at Frazee (Minn.) High School and before coming to VCSU as the defensive coordinator in 1994. McCulloch's 1996 defense finished the season ranked No. 2 in NAIA scoring defense, captured a conference championship and qualified for the NAIA Playoffs.

McCulloch became the 22nd head football coach in Valley City State history in December of 1996.

Dennis and his wife Lisa, have three children: Ryan, a VCSU and NDSU alum; Meghan, a VCSU alum; and Alexa, a VCSU student.

 
Gregg Horner Image
Gregg Horner
Assistant Head Coach - 24th Season
Alma Mater: Valley City State University
Phone: 701-845-7423

Gregg Horner begins his 24th year in the Viking program, once again serving as the Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator for the 2017 campaign.

Horner was named the 2012 Assistant Coach of the Year in NAIA Football, presented by the American Football Coaches Association. The award was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.

On the field, Horner helped the Vikings to four straight conference championships from 2011 to 2014 and has been a part of seven conference championships and five national playoff appearances.

Last season, he helped to Vikings to a 6-4 overall record and two wins over Top 25-ranked teams. The Viking defense ranked 16th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 20.6 points per game. The Vikings were also ranked in the Top 15 in pass defense efficiency and passing yards allowed per game. VCSU junior linebacker Nicholas McBeain was named 2nd Team All American after leading the nation with 18.8 tackles per game.

In 2015, VCSU's defense ranked 7th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 17.1 points per game. The Vikings were also 11th in pass defense efficiency and 25th in pass defense per game, allowing just 188 passing yards per game.

The 2014 defense ranked 3rd in the nation in pass defense efficiency, 6th in pass defense per game (149.5 yards), 20th in scoring defense (22 points/game) and 24th in the nation in total defense per game (332 yards). The Vikings held opponents to 17 or fewer points in six games, and three times held opponents to 10 points or less. VCSU's 2014 defense led the NSAA in total scoring defense per game, pass defense per game and total defense per game.

In 2013, Horner led the Viking defense that ranked 7th in the nation in pass defense, allowing just 152 passing yards a game. The Vikings ranked 24th in scoring defense per game, allowing 23.5 points per contest.

In 2012, his defense helped the Vikings to a 7-3 record and recorded two shutouts in 16-0 and 27-0 wins over Gustavus Adolphus and Lindenwood-Belleville. Nose guard Aaron Freije was named Co-A.I.I. Defensive Player of the Year.

Horner’s defense helped the team to a 9-2 record in 2011. Coach Horner tutored defensive lineman Jordan Maher, who earned the DAC’s Most Valuable Senior award and also the Defensive MVP award for the AII.

As a coach at VCSU, Horner has been a part of seven conference championships and five national playoff appearances. His defenses finished No. 1 in both scoring defense and total defense in the DAC-10 in 2000 and 2001, and have produced seven NAIA All-Americans and dozens of All-Conference performers and NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Since becoming the defensive coordinator, the Horner-led defense has set 21 team or individual school records.

The Fargo native is a 1990 graduate of VCSU and a member of the 1988 squad that captured a NDCAC title and an NAIA Playoff berth. Gregg was also selected as the VCSU Student Senate President in 1989. He spent one season as a student assistant coach at VCSU working with the defensive line under former head coach Jim Dew.

Following graduation, Gregg moved on to spend two years as an assistant coach and social science teacher at Gardner-Edgerton High School in Gardner, Kansas.

Getting the opportunity to get back into the college game, he earned his Masters degree while serving as a graduate assistant coach at South Dakota State from 1992-94.

In 1994, Gregg returned to VCSU where he served as the defensive line coach and Director of Student Activities.

In 1996, he was named the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Football Coach.

Gregg is also a lecturer in the Health Physical Education department at VCSU. Gregg and his wife Kathleen have two children, Iain and Maren.

 
Jason Kremer Image
Jason Kremer
Assistant Coach - 4th Season
Alma Mater: University of Minnesota-Crookston
Phone: 701-845-7159

Jason Kremer is in his fourth season as an assistant coach at Valley City State University.

A native of Eau Claire, Wis., Kremer primarily serves as the offensive line coach at VCSU, along with handling various other duties.

During his three seasons at VCSU, the Vikings have had seven offensive lineman earn All Conference honors. In 2016, juniors Avery Lock (1st team) and PJ Peterson (2nd team) were named NSAA All Conference, along with tight end Tayler Lentz.

Two Viking offensive linemen earned All Conference honors during the 2015 season as Landon Freitas was named 1st Team All Conference and Lex Tande was named to the 2nd Team. The Vikings allowed just nine sacks all season, which was 5th best in the nation. VCSU was also 41st in the nation in rushing yards at 169 per game.

In 2014, the Viking offensive line had three players earn All Conference honors – senior George Trujillo, junior Landon Freitas and freshman Avery Lock.

Following high school in Wisconsin, Kremer went on to play offensive line collegiately for University of Minnesota-Crookston. After his college playing career was complete, Kremer moved to the sidelines, working as an assistant coach in various capacities for Minnesota-Crookston from 2005 to 2011.

While coaching at Crookston, Kremer gained experience coaching every position on the offensive side of the ball.

Jason and his wife Heather were married in the summer of 2016.

 
Erik Matth Image
Erik Matth
Assistant Coach - 2nd Season
Alma Mater: Luther College
Phone: 701-845-7176

The 2017 campaign will mark Erik Matth's second season as an offensive assistant coach at Valley City State University.

His primary on-field focus is coaching quarterbacks, along with a variety of other responsibilities. Matth helped VCSU to a 6-4 record in 2016, a season during which senior quarterback Kurtis Walls set new VCSU career records in several passing categories.

Before joining the VCSU staff in the summer of 2016. Matth worked two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Concordia University in Ann Harbor, Mich.

Prior to Concordia, Matth served as wide receivers coach at Illinois College during the most successful two year stretch in school history, which included a 17-4 record and the school’s first ever NCAA Division III Playoff berth after the 2011 season. In both seasons the Blueboy offense ended the season ranked eighth nationally in total offense and set school records in points and yardage per game.

Matth spent the 2010 season at Concordia University-Chicago as wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator. The Cougar offense ended the season ranked 4th nationally in total offense. Matth has also coached at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore.

Matth earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Luther College in 2007 and his master’s degree in social science from Concordia University – Chicago in 2009.

Erik and his wife Kate were married in 2013 and reside in Valley City.

 
Chad Smith Image
Chad Smith
Assistant Coach - 1st Season
Alma Mater: Rocky Mountain College
Phone: 701-845-7175
 
Dave Rausch Image
Dave Rausch
Assistant Coach - 31st Season
Alma Mater: Valley City State University

How does an individual become an icon? Well, the progression is something like this: become a starting linebacker, become an All-American, lead your team to an undefeated 9-0 season, be named All-American again, join the coaching staff, become inducted into the VCSU Vikings Hall of Fame, and have your number retired. The icon in reference here is Dave Rausch. “Rouper” has been involved with the Vikings for more than 30 years as a player, supporter, and coach.

The West Fargo native came to VCSU in the fall of 1974. Dave earned All-American honors as a linebacker for the Vikings in 1976 and 1977. During the 1976 season, Rausch helped lead VCSU to an undefeated 9-0 season and a trip to the NAIA playoffs. That same year, Rausch logged 122 assisted tackles which stood for many years as the top single season performance of all time at VCSU. Rausch’s 163 total tackles in 1976 places him third all-time for total season tackles. He logged 147 total tackles in 1977, and from a total career perspective, Rausch is fifth all-time with 310 total tackles and second all time with 230 assisted tackles. Under his coaching guidance, Rouper saw linebackers Ben Aarestad, Josh Kasowski, Kevin Strang and most recently Nicholas McBeain break his school record for tackles in a career eclipsing his record of 310.

Rausch would graduate from VCSU in 1978. He took employment at Grotberg Electric where he was an accountant until 1997. Shortly after his departure from Grotberg, Rausch opened his own branch of Raymond James Financial Services Incorporated. In 1986, Rausch also began roaming the sidelines for the Vikings coaching linebackers. The 2017 season will be Raush's 32nd with the Viking coaching staff. In addition, Rausch was inducted into the VCSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.

His coaching tenure has gone through three coaching changes. Coach Jim Dew, who Rausch played for, was the first head coach “Roop” experienced. Dew, the second winningest coach in Viking history said, “Dave Rausch is the most dedicated athlete I have ever coached. A leader on and off the field, Dave benched 410 lbs. the first day of practice in 1977. That year he was first team All-American linebacker and the first Defensive Player of the Week ever selected by the NAIA. I think you could truly say that Dave Rausch has devoted his life to Viking Athletics by giving his time, talents and resources over the past 30-plus years.”

Dennis McCulloch inherited the infectious Dave Rausch as part of his staff in 1997. “Every day we are blessed to have Coach Rausch’s energy and dedication within our program. Whenever I think of Viking Pride, I think of “Roop”, said McCulloch.

In a ceremony on September 28, 2007, Dave Rausch became the first VCSU Football player to ever have his jersey retired. He is also heavily involved  the VCSU Football alumni club – The Oarsmen – that is responsible for raising thousands of dollars each year for football scholarships.

 
Jacob Crawford Image
Jacob Crawford
Grad Assistant - 1st Season
Alma Mater: Montana Tech
Phone: 701-845-7158
 
Brandon Bouma Image
Brandon Bouma
Grad Assistant - 1st Season
Alma Mater: Presentation College
 
Lenzel Koskela Image
Lenzel Koskela
Student Assistant - 2nd Season
 
Jacob Duilio Image
Jacob Duilio
Student Assistant - 1st Season
 
Austin Brouillette Image
Austin Brouillette
Student Assistant - 1st Season
 
Mitchell Martinez Image
Mitchell Martinez
Student Assistant - 1st Season