Dennis McCulloch begins his 20th year at Valley City State and his 17th as the head football coach. Over his time as head coach, McCulloch has guided the Vikings to a 92-70 record and three NAIA playoff appearances. He has been named conference Coach of the Year four times in his tenure.
In McCulloch's tenure, 14 Vikings have earned NAIA All-American honors while 35 players have been named NAIA All-American Scholar-Athletes. McCulloch enters the 2013 season second on the all-time victory list behind only VCSU Hall of Fame coach Jim Dew's 116 career victories.
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. Nine Vikings were named to the All-Conference team, and two earned player of the year honors: quarterback Tommy Zinke was named A.I.I. Most Valuable Senior, while defensive lineman Aaron Freije was named Co-A.I.I. Defensive Most Valuable Player. Coach McCulloch was voted A.I.I. Coach of the Year.
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. Other conference honors went to wide receiver LeTheo Proctor, who was named Most Valuable Player, and defensive lineman Jordan Maher, who was named Most Valuable Senior.
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, SD, 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 (MN) 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.
- Career Coach Records -
Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
Gregg Horner begins his 20th year in the Viking program, serving as the Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator for 2013.
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's defense is coming off two very strong seasons. 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 five conference championships and four 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 six NAIA All-Americans and dozens of All-Conference performers and NAIA Scholar All-Americans.
Since becoming the defensive coordinator, the Horner-led defense has set 16 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.
Co-Offensive Coordinator/Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
The 2013 season will mark Coach John O'Day's third year at Valley City State. O'Day will be in charge of coaching the wide receivers for the second straight year after serving as the running backs coach for the 2011 campaign.
In 2011, O'Day mentored running back A.J. Pfeifer to both the All DAC and AII teams. Pfeifer rushed for 1,115 yards in 2011, capping off a great career with the Vikings.
Prior to joining the Vikings football program, O'Day spent the previous six years coaching with the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse while he finished his degree. While at La Crosse, O'Day coached a variety of positions including wide receivers, kickers, linebackers, and defensive backs. UW-La Crosse finished the 2010 season with the No. 2-ranked defense in the WIAC. In 2006, UW-La Crosse qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs. O'Day also served as the video coordinator during his tenure with La Crosse.
Coach O Day began his coaching career in 2004 at his alma mater, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. After spending one season coaching at the high school he moved to La Crosse to finish his bachelor's degree.
Along with coaching at VCSU, O'Day works in the housing department as a Head Resident. John and his fiancé Jessica Trautman plan to marry in 2014.
Jake Breske begins his first year at Valley City State, serving as quarterbacks coach in 2013.
Most recently, Breske served as an assistant coach in his hometown of Webster, S.D., where the high school team had its first winning record in eight years.
Prior to his stint in Webster, Breske served as a graduate assistant at the University of South Dakota (USD), where he coached two different all-conference running backs. His time as a coach at USD was highlighted by victories over the University of Minnesota (an FBS program) and the defending FCS champion and No. 1-ranked Eastern Washington University.
Breske played his college football at USD and helped guide his team to a 26-19 record.
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 over 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 still stands as the top single season performance of all time at VCSU. Rausch’s 163 total tackles in 1976 places him second all-time for total season tackles. He logged 147 total tackles in 1977, and from a total career perspective, Rausch is fourth all-time with 310 total tackles and first all time with 230 assisted tackles. Under his guidance, Rouper saw linebackers Ben Aarestad, Josh Kasowski, and Kevin Strang 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 2013 season will be Raush's 28th with the Vikings coaching staff. In addition, Rausch was inducted into the VCSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
In his 25 year his tenure has survived three coaching changes. Coach Jim Dew, who Rausch played for, was the 1st head coach “Roop” experienced. Dew, the all-time 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 34 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 also currently serves as the president of the VCSU Football Alumni Club that is responsible for raising thousands of dollars each year for football scholarships.