‘Joe Salem Day’ proclaimed on October 17 by governor

'Joe Salem Day' proclaimed on October 17 by governor South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow has signed a proclamation naming Oct. 17 as "Joe Salem Day."

In conjunction with the South Dakota/Morningside football game this Saturday in Vermillion, the Coyotes and the state will honor the former University of South Dakota head football coach.

Before the game, a banquet and program for Salem will be held at the Prairie across from the DakotaDome at 1:30 p.m. Salem will also be recognized at the football game when the Coyotes take on the Mustangs at 6 p.m.

The former gridiron boss departed as the second winningest coach in USD history, posting a record of 51-38 with two ties from 1966 to 1974. He is credited with resurrecting a football program, which won only nine times in 55 games covering a six-year span prior to Salem's arrival on the USD campus, to one which gained national prominence in the small college ranks.

It was 30 years ago this year when Salem directed the Coyotes to one of their most successful seasons ever when the 1968 squad finished with a 9-1 record and was ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll.

Salem made his mark on the game as an offensive innovator. Unveiling the complex wishbone offense, Salem guided the Coyotes to three consecutive North Central Conference championships from 1972 to 1974. His resourcefulness also allowed USD to virtually rewrite the entire school record book, while playing one of the most demanding schedules in college football.

Salem's 1972 team also produced a 9-1 record and was ranked fourth in the final AP poll. Among the many proud moments include the Coyotes setting a school record with a string of 11 straight victories from 1972-73, while the 1973 outfit became the first college team from South Dakota to be selected for the NCAA playoffs.

Honors were something that became part of the Salem tradition. For six straight years, the Coyotes, under Salem, had a first-team all-American.

For more details about Joe Salem Day and ticket information for the banquet, call (605) 677-4156.

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