The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Clarence Kooistra - Inducted 2023

One of the state’s most successful high school football coaches, Clarence Kooistra, had a 221-77-2 record in 31 years, all but one at Garretson. He lost his last 300th career game to Freeman 44-24 in the 1997 State 9A championship. He guided the Blue Dragons to four, two mythical and two playoff-era, state titles, four runner-up finishes, 10 unbeaten seasons, and 17 conference titles. South Dakota did not have football playoffs until 1981.

Kooistra, a 1959 Salem High School, and 1967 Sioux Falls College graduate, started his coaching career in 1967 at Coleridge, NE. His team was 9-1 in his one season before coming to Garretson. His football teams at Garretson had winning streaks of 24 games in nine-man football in the 1990s and 23 games in 11-man football in the 1970s. At one point, from 1973-77, the Blue Dragons went 42-1 with 27 shutouts and outscoring opponents 1,581-118. Their only loss was a 7-6 defeat at the end of the 1974 season to a much bigger school, Brandon Valley, a class above Garretson.

Kooistra also was a basketball referee for 25 years. At Sioux Falls College, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Kooistra was a four-year, two-way starter as an offensive lineman and middle linebacker. He was a two-time all-Tri-State Conference selection. At Salem, he excelled in all sports. While in the Marines, he played one season for the Hawaiian Marine football team. He is a member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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