Sioux Falls is home to two liberal arts universities, Augustana University and The University of Sioux Falls. The two have had a storied rivalry with one another throughout their over hundred year history in the city.
Assistant Dean of Students and USF alumna Ashley Maturan remembers how the rivalry escalated when USF athletics switched to Division 2, the same Division as Augustana.
“I think it fostered some heathy competition,” Maturan says. “There was a little bit of back and forth during my time here. There were always Augustana students coming over here and doing stuff to the Cougar [statue], and our own students going over to Augustana to do things to the Viking [statue].”
One of the instances Maturan recalls is what is called the tipping point of the rivalry, where the actions of students in name of their school, got a little out of hand. USF students went to the Augie campus and light Augustana’s Viking statue on fire. This resulted in both campus security and Sioux Falls police involvement.
“That was the tipping point in the sense of wow this is getting really big!” says Maturan.
Augustana University alumnus Christian DeJongh remembers from his senior year when USF students stole an “AU” sign from outside the Gilbert Science Center on the Augie campus.
“The sign was missing. The AU logo was just gone!” says DeJongh. “We all knew who did it. It was fine. Within a couple days the logo was put back up.”
Maturan believes rivalries should be fun and maintain a more healthy rivalry than the antics of past students.
“Rivalries are fun and there is a lot of tradition in that,” Maturan says. “To make it a really fun and positive tradition I think is really awesome.”
The Cougar football team takes on the Augustana Vikings in the Key to the City game on October 28th at the Bob Young Field.
Story Written by Casey Kelderman | Video editing by Jacob VanEngen & Cordell Wright