FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A longtime football rivalry between North Dakota's largest colleges that fell apart a decade ago will resume next season, school officials announced Friday.
North Dakota State and North Dakota will play Sept. 19, 2015, at the Fargodome, which is NDSU's home field. The contract also includes a 2019 game in Fargo.
Bubba Schweigert, the first-year head coach at UND who previously served 15 years as an assistant, said school officials decided it was worth it to take two road trips in order to renew the rivalry.
"As I traveled around the region talking to some of our football alums, one of their fondest memories is playing against our rival North Dakota State," said Schweigert, a Zeeland native. "Too many young men have missed out on that opportunity over the last 11 years."
NDSU coach Chris Klieman, also in his first year, said it's a great game for the state and fans, but said his team had other things to talk about Friday.
"I'm just 30 minutes outside of practice," he said at a news conference. "We also are eight days away from playing Iowa State and that's where our focus is."
The game was once billed as the longest-running rivalry in Division II football. It crumbled when NDSU it moved up to Division I in 2003 and UND rejected NDSU's request for games in 2004 and 2005. UND joined Division I in 2008.
Athletic directors from the two schools talked many times in the last five years about resuming the series but had not been able to broker a deal. NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor left in June to take a newly created position of deputy director of athletics at Iowa.
Prakash Matthew, NDSU's interim athletic director, said he's happy that "Gene's offer came to fruition" and the Bison were able to fill out their schedule for 2015.
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