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Dave Little



Dave Little once said that coaching track was 40 percent technique and conditioning and 60 percent psychology. And that's what he did best - get inside athletes' heads. The 1960 Watertown High and 1965 Northern State grad had high school coaching stints in Aberdeen and Michigan before going to Black Hills State University in 1968. He coached the cross country team there for 30 years and the track team for 28. Little's Yellow Jackets won 53 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference titles and 12 NAIA District 12 titles and he was named District 12 coach of the year 14 times. Little attributes his coaching success to his athletes, students who were willing to lay it all on the line. He still attends high school meets in several states to watch with pride as his former athletes coach their teams. Little quickly acknowledges the mentors he's had through the years: John DeWitt and Dudley Melichar, his track coaches at Watertown High School; Bill Jordan, who not only coached him at Northern, but hired him at BHSU. Since he worked as a student manager at Northern, he was elbow to elbow with coaching legends Clark Swisher and Bob Wachs. He learned to coach from great coaches. Little was president of the NAIA Cross Country Coaches Association for two years. He served as chairman of District 12 Cross Country and Track Coaches Association for 18 years. He was recognized as South Dakota Sportswriters Association's College Coach of the Year in 1978, was honorary referee at the Howard Wood-Dakota Relays in 2001, received the Kretchman Coaching Award from Northern State in 2004, and was inducted into BHSU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. He ended his career at BHSU in 2002 after 34 years of coaching and teaching with 10 of those as athletic director. If the days he spent at track and cross country meets were strung together, they would take up 2 1/2 years.














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