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

Ruth Marske - Inducted 1989

Born Oct. 14, 1933 in Andover. Andover H.S. 1955 Northern State grad. Coached outstanding track, volleyball, softball and basketball teams at SDSU in the 1970s and ‘80s. Seven times in what was then the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, SDSU won state AIAW track titles. When the North Central Conference began women’s sports, her track teams won the first three outdoor championships and added two indoor titles as well. SDSU was third outdoors in NCAA Division II in 1982 and third indoors in 1985. She was NCC women’s track coach of the year in 1981, ‘82 and ‘83.

In volleyball, from 1974-81 SDSU was state champion six times and runner-up twice. She coached state champion basketball teams in 1971 and ‘72 (going 32-4 in those two seasons) and a state champion softball team in 1972 (going 8-2).

An outstanding fastpitch shortstop, Marske was inducted into the South Dakota Softball Hall of Fame in 1989.

After graduating from NSU, she taught for four years in Wheaton, Minn., then earned her master’s degree from Northern Colorado in 196 and taught at Garden Grove, Calif., before joining the physical education staff at SDSU in 1970. She was an associate professor in the HPER department at SDSU from 1978-1990, and she served as an assistant to the athletic director.

She was president of the state AIAW from 1978-80. She was chairman of the NCAA Women’s Track and Field Committee from 1983-85 and of the NCAA Division II Track and Field Committee from 1985-86.

Marske grew up playing basketball with her brothers: Bob, Don, Richard and Harry. The first organized athletic activity for Marske came when she was a senior at Andover and its girls basketball team played a half-dozen games against neighboring schools. There weren’t many more opportunities at Northern, where she played badminton and basketball on an intramural basis besides playing in a women’s basketball league at the YMCA. After college, she occasionally joined her brothers in games against men’s teams in the Aberdeen area or traveling teams.


She was inducted into the Northern State (1986) and NCC (1987) halls of fame.

Her brother Bob is also a member of the S.D. Sports Hall of Fame.

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