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Fred Tibbetts



The 1967 De Smet High and 1972 Dakota State grad won 551 games and 11 state titles - both state girls basketball coaching records. He was 551-101 in 29 seasons at the high school level (18 at Jefferson, 11 at Roosevelt). His teams qualified for the state tourney 19 times and reached the state finals an astounding 15 times. Seven times he had unbeaten seasons. In all, Tibbetts coached teams to 16 state titles - his girls track teams at Jefferson were state Class A champs five years in a row (1981-85). His teams were known for a fast-paced style that relied on pressure defense and rapid-fire rotation of players. His frank, often humorous and sometimes brazen manner made him a favorite of the media, if not always opposing coaches. "You love Fred or you hate him," said Roosevelt activities director Diane Janssen. "Nobody is more competitive than Fred on the basketball court, but off the court he'd give you the shirt off his back." Tibbetts guided Roosevelt to a state-record win streak of 111 games and six Class AA titles, including five in a row (1997-01). The win streak included four wins at an out-of-season tourney in Oregon that featured nationally ranked teams. Roosevelt beat 11th-ranked Buena High of Ventura, Calif., in the finals. He retired after winning the 2005 state title. Roosevelt was 227-28 in 11 seasons under Tibbetts. Before he arrived there, a Sioux Falls public school had not won the state title since 1981. The Rough Riders were 4-16 in 1993, the year before he took over. He started coaching at Jefferson in 1972, where he led the Hawkettes to a then-state record win streak of 67 games from 1978-80. His Jefferson teams were state champs in 1975 (the first year of sanctioned state tourneys), '78, '79, '80 and '85 and were twice runners-up as well. He is the only coach to win state basketball titles in all three classes (Class B and A at Jefferson and AA at Roosevelt). In 1999 he was named National Coach of the Year in girls basketball. He also was the women's coach at the University of South Dakota for four years (1986-90). At USD, he was 66-47. He was named S.D. College Women's Coach of the Year in 1989, when the Coyotes were 22-7 and reached the NCAA Division II playoffs.












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