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Former Bison Stoczynski remembered as player who helped found NDSU football dynasty – InForum

FARGO — The first of nine NCAA Division I FCS national championships had to start somewhere for the state of North Dakota. There have been stars over the years. And then there was Scott Stoczynski, a backup defenseman who may have done more off the field for the inaugural national title in 2011 than on it.

As a junior, he was a starter, taking on a reserve role and helping establish himself as a senior leader.

“Scott was one of those guys who was willing to do anything to help the Bison win,” said Bison defense coach Nick Goeser, who joined NDSU in 2010. “I appreciate these guys very much. And Scott would have admitted to you that he was never the most talented or the most dominant guy, but he was willing to do whatever he could. Guys like him were one of the main reasons we were able to flip those years from ’09 to ’10 to win a national championship in 2011. He was one of those reasons.”

Sadly, former teammates and coaches paid tribute to Stoczynski, who died in a car accident in Texas over the weekend. Cole Jirik, the president of the Bison Football Players Association, addressed the family on behalf of former players on Sunday.

Stoczynski had 20 tackles, 4.5 yards lost, 2.5 quarterback sacks and a fumbled recovery this championship season. He and Coulter Boyer on the defensive end were the lone seniors on a young and developing defensive line.

Stoczynski’s best season came in 2010, when he started in all 14 games as a junior and recorded 47 tackles and one fumbled recovery. That year ended in the FCS quarterfinals in east Washington, but NDSU’s first foray into the FCS playoffs set the stage for a streak of titles that is still ongoing.

“These are the guys who flipped that switch,” said Jirik, Stoczynski’s teammate on the defensive line. “Everything was different, the practices were different. This graduating class changed this program.”

According to his LinkedIn.com bio, he became a state police officer with the North Dakota Highway Patrol from 2012 to 2015 and was an adult probation officer in the Chicago area from 2015 to 2017.

From there he entered the financial world and for the past three years has been a Vice President at First Trust in San Antonio, Texas.

“He touched everyone on the team,” Jirik said.

That included the coaches. Former Bison assistant Tim Polasek points to Stoczynski’s willingness to be part of the triangle blocking scheme in front of the Bison punter. You must be prepared to take on a fierce charge and outpace the defenders.

“His ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team,” Polasek said. “I had him on the punt team. He made the calls and was part of that shield, which wasn’t a fun job.”

The burial plans had yet to be finalized on Monday, Jirik said.

“He was loved, he had a lot of friends on both sides of the ball,” Polasek said. “Great teammate. Had the ability to be there for guys and hold guys accountable for the sets.”

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