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

Gene Breemes - Inducted 2023

Gene Breemes was a 1944 Phillip High School and 1950 Black Hills State College graduate. He was a multiple sport standout in high school and starred in football as a quarterback, track & field as a pole vaulter and javelin thrower at Black Hills State. He coached and taught at Hurley (1950-52), Beresford (1952-57), Rapid City Central (1957-69), and Rapid City Stevens (1969-82). When Stevens opened in 1969, Breemes was the school’s first cross country and track & field coach.

In the twelve years before his untimely death in the summer of 1982, Breemes was a three-time South Dakota Coach of the Year in three different sports. He led the Raiders to 12 state championships, three runners-up finishes, and 34 regional championships. His state-winning teams were in boys’ track & field (1971, 1977-82), boys’ cross country (1980, 1981), and girls’ cross country (1976, 1977, 1979).

Breemes wanted his athletes to have fun, enthusiasm, and dedication. Known for his low-key style and humility, he always spotlighted his athletes and assistant coaches when reporters asked him about his coaching successes. He is a member of five sports halls of fame (Rapid City Sports, SD High School Coaches, Black Hills State, Rapid City Stevens, and SD Cross Country and Track & Field Coaches).

Breemes coached for thirty-three years, making his successful tenure one of the longest in the state’s history. He and his wife, Ruth, had two children, Greg Breemes of Gilbert, AZ, and Kristin Allen of Sioux Falls, SD, along with seven grandchildren.

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