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Steve Adkins



The 1928 Parkston High and 1934 University of South Dakota grad was one of the state’s greatest all-around athletes of the 1930s.

He was one of the first players in North Central Conference history to be three-time all-NCC in basketball (1930-32) – freshmen weren’t eligible then. The sturdy 6-foot-2 forward led the NCC in scoring as a sophomore and junior and was second as a senior, leading Coach Rube Hoy’s Coyotes to their first two NCC titles.

One newspaper said of Adkins: “Though most of his shots seemed uncannily lucky, it could not have been luck because he made so many of them. Never shooting in orthodox fashion, he would shoot off balance or twist in the air when going away from the basket, and toss the ball over his shoulder.”

Adkins also was all-NCC as an end in football as a sophomore and set the USD 880-yard record of 1:58 as a junior. He was part of a mile-relay squad that set a Howard Wood Dakota Relays record that stood for 26 years.

He played in the Canadian Football League with the Regina Roughriders. Despite a touchdown reception from Adkins, Regina lost in the 1934 Grey Cup finals. The Regina Leader-Post newspaper in 2010 listed Adkins as one of the Roughriders’ greatest stars, saying Adkins caught 11 passes for 231 yards in 1934, a team single-game yardage record that stood for 49 years.

Adkins also played semi-pro basketball. He led the USD All-Stars to the title in the South Dakota Open, a much-ballyhooed amateur tourney at the Corn Palace in 1934 that paid $100 to the winning team, an extravagant sum at the time.

He was inducted into the USD Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Howard Wood Dakota Relays Hall of Fame in 1985.

Adkins, who started his coaching career as a USD assistant, was a high school coach for 20 years, first at Flandreau and (after serving in the Army in World War II) then at Vermillion. He coached Vermillion to a share of the 1951 state track title and to a runner-up finish in the 1950 state “A” basketball tourney.






































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