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Dave Strain



The White River High and South Dakota State grad guided Rapid City Central boys basketball to statewide prominence. In his 24 years as the Cobblers' coach (1963-86), Strain's teams won two state titles (1969 and '80) and were runners-up six times (1965, '67, '74, '75, '79 and '82). Strain guided Central to the state tourney 18 times, a total that was at the time second best in state history. The Cobblers produced more all-state and all-tournament players than any high school in the state during Strain's tenure. The 1969 team, with such players as John Dutton, Rich Gerry, Steve Withorne and Jack Tennyson, is remembered as one of the all-time great teams. Strain was much appreciated by the Indian population. Many of the Indian players played key roles on his teams. Strain not only developed and refined their basketball skills, but he gave them self-esteem and direction. He coached at Deadwood for three years, then came to Rapid City as an assistant coach. His overall record as a head coach was 398-231. Strain credits much of the Cobblers' success to the efforts of longtime assistant coaches Kenny Knapp and Kim Templeton. Strain was named High School Coach of the Year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association in 1969 and '80. He also was the National High School Athletic Coaches Association District 7 (a seven-state region) basketball coach of the year in 1969. As a player, he led White River to the 1949 state Class B tourney. He also played at SDSU. He was the first recipient of the Ralph Ginn coaching award at SDSU. In 1985, he was the first active coaching recipient of the S.D. Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Shrine.










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