One of the leading scorers in South Dakota boys basketball history, Swanhorst was an outstanding coach and college player as well. At Cresbard, Swanhorst was a four-year starter and scored 2,404 points, which is now No. 4 in state history (it was No. 2 when he graduated). He led Cresbard to a state Class B runner-up finish in 1956 and state title in 1957 and set a record for points in the championship round (91) in 1957, obliterating the old record by 20 points. Cresbard was 38-1 in 1957. Recruited by seven NCAA Division I schools, Swanhorst chose Augustana. Freshmen were ineligible then, but the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder started three years, was all-North Central Conference first team twice and set Augustana records by averaging 15.2 points and 15.5 rebounds in his 60-game career. He was invited to a tryout camp with the Chicago Bulls. In South Dakota, Swanhorst coached at Webster (1965-68), Huron High (1968-69) and Huron College (1969-77, basketball and baseball). He guided Webster to the 1966 state "A" title and Huron College to the 1974 NAIA national tournament. His HC basketball teams were South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference champions three times. Cresbard (1957) and Webster (1966) were chosen as "Prep Team of the Year" by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association, while Huron College (1974) was chosen as "College Team of the Year." Swanhorst was NAIA District 12 basketball coach of the year in 1973. He taught three years at Bellevue, Neb., before going to Webster. He taught at Burnsville (Minn.) High from 1977-98, going 135-118 in 12 years as coach there. After 37 years as a teacher and coach, Swanhorst retired in 1998. His career basketball coaching record was 294-252. Swanhorst was chosen the state "B" player of the decade for the 1950s in voting conducted by the Rapid City Journal. He was selected to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader's high school centennial team in 1989. He is a member of the Augustana Hall of Fame. Also an outstanding track athlete, he high jumped 5-11 in 1957, the best mark in the state that year. He was the first Cresbard athlete to win a medal at the state track meet.
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