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Peru State pulls head coach from nearby FCS school

South Dakota assistant head coach Phil Ockinga has taken the head coaching job at the NAIA school.

Peru State has named Phil Ockinga its head coach, the program announced Thursday. He begins work with the Bobcats immediately.

Ockinga joins the program from South Dakota, where he wore an array of hats over the past five seasons, coaching running backs, wide receivers and special teams. He also served as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

Ockinga's five seasons with South Dakota saw the Coyotes' first and second FCS playoff berths, including in 2021. 

"I am delighted that Coach Ockinga is coming to Peru State to lead the Bobcats," said PSU president Dr. Michael R. Evans. "Coach Ockinga brings impressive experience in recruiting, retention, program development, and sideline coaching, and he is absolutely the right person to help the team continue its excellent trajectory."

Peru State is an NAIA school in Peru, Neb. The Bobcats compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. 

Peru State went 7-4 under second-year head coach Casey Creehan in 2021. He left a month ago today to become a special teams coach and offensive assistant for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.

"Me and my family are extremely honored to be apart of the Peru State College family," said Ockinga. "What stuck out to me throughout the interview process was the people and the direction of the football program and the college."

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