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

Russell "Sox" Walseth - Inducted 1978

Born in Aberdeen in 1926. 1944 Pierre HS. 1948 Colorado grad. The first person ever to coach the men's and women's basketball teams at the same NCAA school, Walseth did so at Colorado with outstanding results.

He was the winningest men's basketball coach in the school's history, going 261-245 in 20 seasons (1956-76) at the helm of the Buffaloes. Three times his teams were Big Eight champs (earning NCAA tourney berths) and five times he was named Big Eight coach of the year. He also coached the CU women’s team for three years (1980-83), using two girls from Yankton as his star players and going 77-21 with two conference titles, two berths in the AIAW playoffs (a forerunner to the NCAA) and one conference coach of the year award. His women’s teams never lost a home game, going 43-0.

Previously coached two seasons at South Dakota State (1954-56), going 31-18 with one conference title. As a player at Colorado, he started at guard, scoring a career-high 20 points against NYU at Madison Square Garden. He played in the NCAA tourney in 1946. He also played three years on the Colorado baseball team as a shortstop. Played two years in the New York Yankees’ farm system in Victoria, B.C., and five years in the Basin League (1950-54).

In high school, Walseth was a four-year starter in basketball, was all-state and led the Governors to the 1944 state Class A title. He also was outstanding in football and track and helped Pierre to the state Legion baseball title in 1941.


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