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

Cliff Anderson - Inducted 2011

The 1969 Dell Rapids High grad was one of the last great four-sport college athletes in South Dakota, excelling in basketball, football, baseball and track at Dakota State.

At DSU, the 6-foot-5 Anderson was all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference in basketball three years (1971-73) and all-NAIA District 12 twice while playing for Coach Ed Harter. He was an All-American as a senior after averaging 29.4 points and 12 rebounds a game – four times scoring over 40 points in a game. He was third in the NAIA in scoring.

Anderson was a four-year starter and two-time honorable mention all-SDIC wide receiver in football while helping Coach Lee Moran’s Trojans beat Northwestern Oklahoma State in the Boot Hill Bowl in 1971. He was a three-year starter as a first baseman in baseball (.320 average) and he set a DSU and conference record in the high jump as a freshman. In all, he earned 12 varsity letters. He was inducted into the DSU Hall of Fame in 1996.

As a senior at Dell Rapids, Anderson was a first-team all-stater in basketball and football, set the state high jump record (6-5.25) and placed in three events at the state track meet (first in high jump, second in high hurdles). That year the Quarriers lost only once in football and twice in basketball and won the state “B” track title. In baseball, he was the 1969 American Legion player of the year after leading Dell Rapids, coached by his dad, Phil, to back-to-back state titles.

After college, Anderson was a graduate assistant in football and basketball at Western Illinois (1973-74). He played pro basketball briefly for the Israel Sabres until a knee injury ended his playing career. He then returned to DSU as an assistant to Harter. After one season, he became the head coach (at 23, he was one of the youngest head coaches in the nation). He was the head coach for three seasons, leading the Trojans to their first winning season in more than 10 years. He also coached at Le Mars (Iowa) High School for three years, leading the Bulldogs to the state’s No. 1 ranking.


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