Todd Strop is in his first season as defensive coordinator at SMSU in 2018.
Strop comes to SMSU with more than 20 years of high school and collegiate coaching experience, including serving as defensive coordinator at two programs in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as well as three seasons as head coach at the Division III level.
Prior to joining the SMSU staff, Strop’s last coaching position was serving as defensive coordinator at Augsburg College in 2015.
Before taking over at Augsburg, he was the defensive coordinator at Concordia-St. Paul in 2013 and 2014, which included a pair of five-win seasons. He helped coach All-American defensive end, Zach Moore, a 2014 draft pick by the New England Patriots.
Prior to CSP, Strop was the defensive coordinator at Minnesota Duluth in 2010 and 2011. He helped construct a Bulldog defense that led the country in fewest points allowed (12.7) as UMD captured the program’s second NCAA national championship in 2010. The program produced five All-American defensive players, and nine All-NSIC first team selections with Strop at the helm of the defense. In 2011, UMD ranked seventh in the nation in total defense (275.1) and 11th in rushing defense (101.5).
Prior to joining the UMD staff, Strop was an assistant coach at the University of South Dakota from 2008-09. After serving as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach in 2008, he was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2009 season. He was also defensive coordinator at Hamline University in 2007 at the Division III level.
From 1998-2006, Strop served as an assistant coach and then head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He was the program’s defensive coordinator from 1998-2003, before taking over as head coach in 2004 and leading the program to a pair of winning seasons.
Strop began his coaching career as defensive backs coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1992-93, before serving as defensive backs coach at Ohio University in 1994.
Strop’s first head coaching position was at Durand High School in Wisconsin from 1995-97.
He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in history and was a two-year letter winner at defensive back for the Badger football team. He earned his master’s degree in athletic administration from Ohio University in 1994.
Todd and his wife, Dana, have a home in River Falls, Wisconsin, along with his daughters, Kylie and Keyah. Todd has an adult son, Tyler, two adult step-daughters, Elizabeth and Andrea and a granddaughter, Stella.
Lane Lawson is in his first season as inside linebackers coach at SMSU in 2018.
Lawson came to SMSU after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Concordia University (Wis.), where he served as the junior varsity head coach and also coached the team’s running backs.
He played two seasons of linebacker at Concordia University, before transferring to Black Hills State (S.D.) and playing three seasons, including recording 40 tackles as a senior in 2015.
Lawson is a 2015 graduate of Black Hills State with a degree in general studies.
Outside Linebackers Coach
Levi Bullerman is in his first season as an assistant coach for the Mustang program in 2018. He will coach the team's outside linebackers.
Bullerman spent five seasons as a student-athlete with the SMSU football program from 2005-09. He comes to SMSU after serving the past five seasons (2013-17) as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Bullerman served in various roles as assistant at UMC, most recently serving as defensive coordinator during the 2017 season. Bullerman, who also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator for four seasons, coached special teams, defensive line and linebackers during his tenure at UMC.
Bullerman began his coaching career at Illinois College in 2010 as defensive line coach. He coached a pair of all-conference lineman and helped a defense rank among the Top 10 in Division III in turnovers.
In 2011, Bullerman became the linebackers and special teams coach at Presentation College (S.D). Presentation, which had its first collegiate football season in 2011, won six games in two seasons with Bullerman on staff. Presentation ranked in the Top 15 among Division III team in fumble recoveries in 2012.
Bullerman is a 2010 graduate of SMSU with a degree in sports management. He was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter at linebacker for the Mustangs. A 2009 team captain, he never missed a game in his career and recorded 154 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions in 44 games. Bullerman is completing his master’s degree in education from Greenville University (Ill.).
Levi and his wife, Alarie, have three children, son Levi Jr., and daughters, Lyla and Lillian.
Austin Hilgert is in his first season as tight ends coach for the SMSU program in 2018.
Hilgert joins the coaching staff following an outstanding four-year career in a Mustang uniform. A three-time Academic All-NSIC honoree, Hilgert was a four-year starter and was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year following the 2017 season. A 2017 team captain, he was named second team All-NSIC South in 2017 and was an honorable mention All-NSIC South honoree in 2015.
Hilgert earned his degree in business management from SMSU in 2018. He is pursuing his master’s degree at SMSU.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Nick Brundy is in his second year as head strength and conditioning coach for the SMSU football program in 2018.
Brundy came to SMSU serving as an assistant with the UCLA strength and conditioning department during the 2016 season. Prior to UCLA, Brundy was assistant strength and conditioning coach at Augsburg College.
Brundy is a 2016 graduate of Augsburg College with a degree in health and exercise science. He was a member of the Augsburg football program for two seasons. He also played two seasons at Allan Hancock CC.
Mitchell Fair begins his first season as defensive line coach at SMSU in 2018.
Fair came to SMSU after spending one season as defensive assistant coach at the University of Central Florida in 2017.
Fair was a four-year letter winner as Trine University (Ind.) where he played defensive line and was a team captain. He recorded seven and a half sacks during his senior season.
He is a 2017 graduate of Trine University with a degree in health and physical education.