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Gene Zulk



South Dakota State men's basketball had many of its greatest days while Zulk was a player and coach at the school. The 1965 Spencer High grad helped the Jackrabbits to North Central Conference titles in 1968 and '69. In 1969 he was all-NCC. That season the 6-foot-5, 215-pound forward averaged 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds a game and set a school record for field-goal accuracy (56.9 percent). The 1969 team set NCC records for scoring (92 points a game) and field-goal shooting (49.9 percent). In his three-year career (freshmen weren't eligible), Zulk scored 1,073 points ? sixth best in school history). He averaged 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds a game in his Jackrabbit career. SDSU, spearheaded by its front line of Zulk, John Thomas and Guy Mackner, set a single-season scoring record in 1968 by averaging 87.7 points a game. The Jackrabbits bettered that the next season with an 89.2 average. In 1969 SDSU shot a school-record 51.2 percent from the field. Zulk, Thomas and Mackner were inducted into the SDSU Hall of Fame in 1997. Zulk was a prep coach at Parkston (1969-72), St. Paul Kellogg (1972-73) and Huron (1973-74) before returning to SDSU to be an assistant to his college coach, Jim Marking. When Marking retired before the 1974-75 season, Zulk became the head coach. Zulk was 176-128 in 11 seasons as SDSU coach. In his final season (1984-85), he guided the Jackrabbits to a 26-7 record, an NCC title and a berth in the NCAA Division II title game, which SDSU lost 74-73. SDSU also won the 1980 NCC title under Zulk. He left as the winningest coach in SDSU history. He was twice named NCC coach of the year. In 1985, he also was selected as NCAA Division II District V coach of the year. In high school, Zulk was all-state in basketball and football at Spencer.












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