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

Howard Taplett - Inducted 2002

Born May 23, 1921. 1939 Tyndall High and 1943 University of South Dakota grad. Taplett built Tyndall into a Class B track power. In 16 years as Tyndall's coach, Taplett coached the Panthers to seven state Class B titles (1953-56, 1960 and 1966-67) and one runner-up finish (1965). The four consecutive titles is a feat that has not been duplicated in the small-school ranks. His teams never lost a dual meet. Tyndall dominated the sprint relays, winning over 200 relay titles in his 16 years. His teams set state records in the 440, 880 and mile relays and set or tied eight state-meet records.

Taplett was the director of the Tyndall Relays for 25 years, turning it into South Dakota's biggest Class B meet (from 15 schools and 150 athletes to one with more than 70 schools and over 1,200 athletes). He taught and served as an administrator at Tyndall High until 1983.

Tyndall was the birthplace of girls track in South Dakota, when on May 8, 1964, the first statewide track meet for high school girls was held with Taplett as one of the organizers. It wasn’t until 1969 that girls track was officially recognized as a prep sport in South Dakota.

Taplett wasn't just an outstanding track coach. His football teams at Tyndall were 59-21-5 with four unbeaten seasons, and he coached basketball and golf as well. He began his coaching career at Plankinton, coaching football, basketball and track from 1946-51 before going to Tyndall.

Taplett is a member of the Tyndall Relays, USD, South Dakota High School Coaches Association and South Dakota High School Athletic Directors Association Halls of Fame. He was selected for induction into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame for 2002.

Taplett was an outstanding basketball player - he was all-state at Tyndall and all-North Central Conference at USD.

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