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

Gary Schwartz - Inducted 2010

An all-state football player at Wessington Springs, Schwartz was thinking about playing the sport in college. All that changed in a flash at the 1962 Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder's discus throw of 190 feet, 7 1/2 inches was the best prep throw in the nation at the time that year and broke the meet record by almost 30 feet. It also broke his old state record of 173-1 set the year before. He also set the state record in the shot put (56-1 1/4).

Schwartz was named the South Dakota Prep Athlete of the Year for 1962. He and Wilma Rudolph were selected to carry the torch in the opening ceremonies for the 1962 NAIA national meet in Sioux Falls.

In college, Schwartz helped Kansas to three Big Eight titles and was conference discus champ as a junior.

Then began a 34-year cross country/track and field coaching career that earned him 10 region coach of the year awards as well as the NCAA Division I National Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year honor in 1983. In 21 years as a head coach, his athletes earned 133 All-American honors, he coached six top-4 teams at the NCAA Championships and he coached eight Olympians. He served on four coaching staffs for U.S. teams in international competition - in Spain, England, Belgium and Canada - and he also was a coach at the National Sports Festival in 1982 and '83.

Schwartz was an assistant at Ohio University, Massachusetts, Army and Penn State before becoming Penn State's head women's cross country and track coach in 1979, a position he held for five years. He then was the coach at Tennessee for four years (1984-88) and Kansas for 12 (1988-2000).

He was president of the U.S. Track Coaches Association from 1992-96 and served on various national committees from 1980-2005. He was the meet director for the 1998 NCAA cross country meet.

Schwartz has been an athletic administrator at the University of Arkansas since 2002. He was the technical director for the 2009 NCAA Division I outdoor track championships and has had the same duties for nine NCAA indoor championships - all at Arkansas. He currently is the coordinator of events for Razorback athletics.

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