Head Coach / Quarterbacks
Cory Sauter is in his sixth season as head coach at Southwest Minnesota State in 2015 and his eighth overall on the Mustang coaching staff. Sauter has compiled an overall record of 21-35 in five seasons on the sidelines, including 20-33 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. During his tenure, he led SMSU to one of its best season’s in program history, which included just the third postseason appearance in team history.9998
Sauter was named the 10th head coach in program history on March 29, 2010, after serving a month as interim head coach. He brings six years of professional football playing experience in both the National Football League and NFL Europe, along with both collegiate and professional football coaching experience to the Mustang program.
In 2013, SMSU put together a record-breaking campaign, setting 13 single-season team records and playing a postseason game for the first time since 1990. The Mustangs finished 7-5 overall, including 7-4 in the NSIC and 5-2 in the NSIC South Division. SMSU finished fourth overall in the 16-team NSIC and finished second in the NSIC South. It’s the highest finish for the Mustangs in the NSIC since 1999, and the team qualified for the Mineral Water Bowl for the first time in program history, playing in just the third postseason game in team history. The seven victories are the highest in team history at the Division II level and tied for the third highest overall in the program’s 47-year history.
SMSU running back Tyler Tonderum set a school record with 2,145 yards rushing—ranking second in Division II—and became the first player in program history to be named a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, which is given to the top player in Division II.
The SMSU offense set a school record with 6,295 total yards, averaging a school record 524.6 per game and also set the NSIC single-season record with 5,892 yards in NSIC games.
In 2014, SMSU had several close games, losing three by three points or less, but still featured a potent offense and a disciplined team. The Mustang offense, despite five new starters on the offensive line, ranked among the top 80 nationally in both rushing offense and passing offense, while the squad finished second in the NSIC and 13th in Division II in fewest penalty yards per game. Punter Mike Wenk was named first team All-NSIC and was also a second team All-American honoree.5755Sauter played six seasons in the NFL.
During Sauter’s first season as head coach in 2010, the Mustangs started the season 2-0 and were 4-4 after eight weeks, before suffering several injuries to key positions and finishing 4-7 overall. Seven Mustang players earned all-conference honors, including quarterback Ryan Ratekin, who became the first SMSU offensive player to earn first team All-NSIC honors since 2006.
In 2011, SMSU finished with a 3-8 overall record and had eight players earn All-NSIC honors. Junior quarterback Tyler Peschong led the NSIC in passing and total yards and was named second team All-NSIC South Division. The Mustang offense finished the season ranking third in the conference in passing and eighth in scoring.
In his third season at the helm in 2012, Sauter helped oversee an offense that set a school record with 23 rushing touchdowns, while rushing for 1,888 yards, the second highest total in program history. The Mustang offense – which scored 30 or more points six times - ranked 62nd in the country in scoring and 65th in total offense. Senior running back Warren Matthews was named first team All-NSIC, while senior running back Gannon Moore was named second team All-NSIC.
Prior to becoming head coach, Sauter spent two seasons (2008-09) helping lead a high-powered Mustang offensive attack as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
Serving as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2009, SMSU averaged 36 points per game, the third highest in school history, and also scored 30 or more points in eight games tying a school single-season record.
SMSU junior quarterback Ryan Ratekin was named the 2009 NSIC Offensive Newcomer of the Year, setting a school record with a 63.9 percent completion percentage, while passing for 2,963 yards and 33 touchdowns, the third highest in school history.
SMSU senior quarterback Josh Shudlick had a record breaking season during Sauter’s first season on the sideline in 2008, setting a conference record for passing yards and tying the league record for touchdown passes in one season. The Mustang offense led the NSIC in passing yards, while Shudlick finished first in the conference in passing yards per game and total offense.11235Cory, Amy, Estella and Berlin.
Prior to SMSU, Sauter, a native of Hutchinson, Minn., spent several years coaching at both the collegiate and professional levels. In 2006 he served as quarterbacks/receivers coach for the Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europe and was also a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota. In 2007, he was quarterbacks coach for the Berlin Thunder.
A 1997 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Sauter had a record-setting career at quarterback for the Golden Gophers and spent six seasons in the NFL from 1998-2003. He played four seasons for Minnesota (1994-97), including starting the final 34 games of his collegiate career and playing in the Blue-Gray All-Star Football Classic following his senior season. He finished his career as the school's all-time career record holder for pass completions, pass attempts and passing yards. Sauter earned his master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 2003.
Following his collegiate career Sauter spent six seasons in the NFL from 1998-2003. He signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 1998 before spending time with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. He appeared in one regular season game in his career completing 6 of 9 passes for 59 yards in a 2002 game with the Chicago Bears. Sauter also played one season for the Barcelona Dragons in NFL Europe.
Cory and his wife Amy, live in Marshall with their two daughters, Berlin and Estella.
Sauter Coaching Experience
2006 Hamburg Sea Devils (quarterbacks/receivers)
2006 University of Minnesota (defensive backs)
2007 Berlin Thunder (quarterbacks)
2008-09 SMSU (quarterback/pass game coordinator/offensive coordinator)
2010-15 SMSU (head coach)
Sauter Playing Experience
1993-97 University of Minnesota
1998 Arizona Cardinals
1999-00 Detroit Lions
2000 Barcelona Dragons
2001-03 Indianapolis Colts
2002 Chicago Bears