SDSU Head Coach Gets Burger Named After Him for the Kids

BROOKINGS, S.D. — The South Dakota State Men’s basketball team is gearing up for March Madness. The man leading the team is also leading another initiative which impacts people’s lives through food.

SDSU Head Coach TJ Otzelberger is entering his 3rd season with the Jackrabbits. He’s made the big dance the last two years and was named the Summit League Coach of the Year.

It’s one thing to coach division one athletes in front of thousands of screaming fans. It’s another to score your own Applebee’s hamburger.

Coach Otz and all South Dakota Applebees restaurants are teaming up to support the kids.

“Definitely with the last name Otzelberger you might see where there might be a parallel at some point, but I never thought there’d be a time in my life where I would have a burger named after me. On one end it’s flattering on the other end it’s interesting,” says TJ Otzelberger.

A different burger each month is named “The Otzelburger”. One dollar of each burger benefits the Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s such a great cause, and so I wanted to make sure we were doing something to give back in the community,” says Otzelberger.

This month’s feature is the bacon cheeseburger which the coach is a big fan of.

“You can’t go wrong with bacon on a burger. I’m from Wisconsin so you can never have too much cheese on it, so I’m not so much for all the vegetables I think that’s for another time,” says Otzelberger.

The Brookings Applebee’s General Manager says this is the first time they’ve named a burger after a coach.

“People in the community have been great.. They give me a hard time. I get a lot of jabs, but I think it’s all in good fun, and I’m excited about it and I’m thrilled. It’s something I get to spend some family time and joke about, and also support such a great cause,” says Otzelberger.

The Jacks are hungry for another Summit League title, but TJ knows the Otzelburger title is bigger than basketball.

The Otzelburger fundraiser started in November and lasts as long as the Jacks basketball season. The whiskey bacon burger is the next featured burger.

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