2016 Football Coaching Staff
Jason Petrino was named the 17th head football coach in Rocky Mountain College history on January 21, 2016.
He comes to Rocky after spending the past four years as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach under legendary coach Joe Glenn at the University of South Dakota. The 39-year-old replaced Brian Armstrong, who spent the last seven years leading the Battlin’ Bears.
This past season, the Petrino-led USD defensive unit finished in the top third of the Missouri Valley Football Conference – arguably the best conference in the FCS – in the major defensive statistical categories including overall defense, run defense, and pass defense. As defensive coordinator, he helped lead the Coyotes over five-time FCS National Champions North Dakota State, snapping their 26-game home winning streak.
In 2013, the Coyotes topped the MVFC in sacks (sixth nationally), opponent fourth down conversion (first nationally), and ranked ninth nationally in pass defense. In the same season, the USD defense finished second in the MVFC in turnovers gained (18) and interceptions (11). Petrino’s defense was led by 2013 MVFC Defensive Player of the Year Tyler Starr, who currently plays for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Petrino has served as defensive coordinator in nine of the last 11 college football seasons. He has experience utilizing multiple fronts and schemes while coaching both defensive backs and linebackers. His belief is that success is achieved from having the right players who possess the proper fundamentals, rather than scheme. At Wyoming, where he served two tours (2003-04 – safeties coach, 2009-10 – director of football operations), Petrino was part of the defensive staff that helped the Cowboys secure bowl victories in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl versus UCLA (24-21) and the 2009 New Mexico Bowl versus Fresno State (35-28).
Between those bowl victories, Petrino spent three seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Mary, a NCAA Division II school located in Bismarck, N.D. In 2007, his defense ranked No. 1 in total defense, pass defense, and red zone defense. The Marauders also ranked second in scoring and rush defense.
Petrino’s coaching career began in 2000 at his alma mater, Carroll College (Mont.), where he coached the defensive backs on the 2002 NAIA National Championship team. He stayed on head coach Mike Van Diest’s Carroll College coaching staff for three seasons.
From 1995-99, Petrino was a team captain and second-team All-Frontier Conference defensive back for the Fighting Saints.
Entering his 17th year at the collegiate level, Petrino has guided seven players to the NFL. These athletes include two-time Super Bowl Champion Derrick Martin (Wyoming 2003-05), John Wendling (Wyoming 2003-05), Chris Prozinski (Wyoming 2008-10), Tashaun Gipson (Wyoming 2008-10), Tyler Starr (South Dakota 2012-14), Jarrid Bryant (South Dakota 2013-14), and Steve Tellefsen (South Dakota 2012-15).
A native of Kalispell, Mont., Petrino is married to the former Heather Fries (Helena, Mont.). Together they have three children: Jason (9), Mikaylah (7) and Patrick (5), as well as parental guardians of Kruz (6) and Danika (3) Romine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Carroll College in 2000, and an MBA in management from the University of Mary in 2009.
Offensive Coordinator | Quarterbacks
Chris Stutzriem begins his first season as an assistant coach at Rocky Mountain College, after being hired in February 2016. He will serve as the Battlin’ Bears’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Stutzriem came to Rocky from William Penn, an NAIA school located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he served as the offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and director of football operations. During his three years as the offensive coordinator, the Statesmen ranked third nationally in rushing.
In 2015, William Penn’s offense finished No. 1 in the nation in rushing yards (3,874) and rushing yards per game (352). The Statesmen averaged 38 points per game, which landed them in the NAIA’s top 15 for total offense. The Stutzriem-led offense finished first or second in 13 of 15 offensive statistical categories in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, that season as well. The Statesmen also broke the school single game scoring record of 70 points by racking up 73 against Culver-Stockton.
Stutzriem coached five all-conference players at William Penn, which included a two-time All-America wide receiver. His efforts earned Stutzriem the 2015 HAAC Assistant Football Coach of the Year award.
Stutzriem had a successful career as a college quarterback. He played at NCAA Division I programs Wyoming and Indiana State University, before finishing the final year of his career at NAIA powerhouse Morningside College (Sioux City, Iowa).
He started 20 games during his college career and threw for nearly 3,800 yards and 36 touchdowns. At Wyoming, where he started the team’s final four games and even helped the Cowboys win 13-7 at Tennessee, Stutzriem was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week. After being named honorable mention to the MWC All-Freshman team, he transferred to FCS Indiana State.
Stutzriem received a Master’s of business leadership degree from William Penn in 2012. A native of Lawton, Okla., he played high school football at Eisenhower High School, where he earned all-state as a senior and was ranked the No. 1 quarterback in the state.
Co-Defensive Coordinator | Special Teams Coordinator
Jared Petrino is the Battlin’ Bears new co-defensive coordinator and special teams coach. He was hired by his older brother Jason in February of 2016, and comes to Rocky from Black Hills State University, a NCAA Division II program located in Spearfish, S.D.
Petrino spent three years with the BHSU Yellow Jackets, where he coordinated special teams, mentored the defensive linemen and served as the defensive backs coach for two years (2013, 2014). His 2014 special teams unit finished the season ranked 12th in the nation with three blocked punts. The Yellow Jackets ranked third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with an average of nearly 16 yards returned per interception.
In 2013, the Yellow Jackets defensive backs snagged 16 interceptions, which ranked the squad third in the RMAC. On special teams, the Yellow Jackets led the league by connecting on 92 percent of their field goal attempts.
Prior to BHSU, Petrino spent the 2011-12 season at Sheridan High School (Sheridan, Wyo.) Before his one year high school stint, he served as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Wyoming. His roles at UW included: practice preparation, scout team coordination, as well as various administrative duties. Prior to becoming a member of the coaching staff at Wyoming, Petrino was the video coordinator for the Cowboys.
Petrino played linebacker for the Carroll College Fighting Saints. He was a member of Carroll’s back-to-back NAIA National Championship teams in 2002 and 2003.
Petrino earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and health and physical education, with a concentration in sports management from Carroll in 2004.
Petrino married his wife Alex in June of 2013. They have a son named Drew, who will be a year old in June.