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Forry Flaagan



Flaagan is a 1968 Mayville (N.D.) High School grad and 1977 University of North Dakota alum who guided the Rapid City Stevens cross country program to unparalleled success.

Flaagan got his coaching start in Spearfish as assistant junior high boys track coach for two years before becoming the head cross country and assistant track coach from 1979-1985. He had never seen a cross country meet until the first one he coached and had never raced anything over 220 yards himself. He coached Spearfish to two state girls cross country titles (1983-84).

He coached one season at Grand Forks (N.D.) Central High School before coming to Rapid City. He was the Raiders' head cross country coach and track & field distance coach from 1988-2010. In that time, Stevens won 19 state cross country titles (9 girls, 10 boys). The boys titles were all in a row (1995-2004) while eight of the girls titles were in a row (1993-2000). Those title streaks are by far the best in state history in cross country. He coached 13 state cross country champions and 132 all-state runners. As a track assistant at Stevens, Flaagan was part of seven boys and 15 girls state title teams. Flaagan’s distance responsibilities in track consisted of the 400 meters through the 3,200 plus relays.

In 1988, Flaagan approached the fledgling South Dakota Cross Country and Track & Field Coaches Association and Norwest/Wells Fargo Bank about sponsoring a combined championship award at the state meets for each class. The award was immediately installed and continues to be a popular reward for overall program excellence. His teams won 12 combined titles in cross country and 14 in track.

Flaagan was the National High School Athletic Coaches Association girls cross country coach of the year in 1999. He was a finalist for the boys award in 2000 and 2003. He was inducted into the NHSACA Hall of Fame in 2009 and he received the prestigious Dwight Keith Service Award from the NHSACA in 2015. He is a member of the SDCCT&FCA, the South Dakota High School Coaches Association and the Rapid City Sports halls of fame. He received the Max Hawk Service Award from the SDHSCA in 2005. The South Dakota High School Activities Association awarded him its Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Since 2000, he has been on the NHSACA Board of Directors and has been the NHSACA Cross Country chairman. He was president of the SDCCT&FCA from 1998-2000. South Dakota Sportswriters awards include girls team of the year (1996), boys team of the year (1999) and girls coach of the year (2002).








































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