South Dakota athletics to honor former Coyote coach

South Dakota athletics to honor former Coyote coach
The University of South Dakota Athletics Department will honor former basketball coach and administrator Dwane "Cloddy" Clodfelter during the Coyotes' home North Central Conference games against North Dakota on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the DakotaDome.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has issued an executive proclamation that makes Jan. 14 "Coach Dwane Clodfelter Day" in South Dakota.

As part of the activities on Saturday, USD will host a pre-game social and have a public recognition of Clodfelter during halftime of the men's game. The pre-game social for Coach Clodfelter will be held at the Lyle and June Woodward Wagner Center (USD Alumni/Foundation Building), which is located directly west of the DakotaDome, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Reservations for the social may be made by calling (605) 677-5309.

During the fall of 2005, The University of South Dakota established an endowed scholarship to honor Dwane Clodfelter and his legacy of success as a coach, administrator and teacher.

"We are proud to recognize Coach Clodfelter for his long and continuing association with South Dakota Athletics," said USD Athletics Director Joel Nielsen. "The establishment of the endowed scholarship honors the legacy of Coach Clodfelter as one of the outstanding coaches/administrators at South Dakota. As part of his long-term dedication to the University, we want to honor Cloddy for his mentorship of student-athletes."

In 1953, longtime USD Athletic Director Carl "Rube" Hoy hired Clodfelter, a native of Woonsocket, as an assistant basketball and freshman football coach at South Dakota. Named head men's basketball coach at USD in 1954, Cloddy led the Coyotes to the national playoffs (1957) before his team became the first-ever North Central Conference team to win a national championship, in any sport, with the small college division basketball title in 1958. Clodfelter's 1958 team won its final 20 games and became the first North Central Conference team to go unbeaten (12-0) in league play for a 12-game schedule. He also directed teams that set the state record for consecutive home wins (34, from 1956-59) and led two Coyote teams to NCC crowns, while compiling an impressive 32-3 record from 1956-59 in NCC league games.

Overall, Cloddy had an 89-67 (.571) record in NCC games. He ended his coaching career after the 1966-67 season due to health concerns, but returned to USD to coach golf and serve as an assistant athletic director until retiring in 1982. The USD teams coached by Clodfelter hosted Division I basketball powers Marquette, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota and others.

Clodfelter has been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame, including the Coyote Sports Hall of Fame, South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, NCC Honor Hall, and others. A standout athlete at Woonsocket High School, he once had a base hit against Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige, who was barnstorming in South Dakota during the 1930s. He was also a successful coach for 15 years in South Dakota. He is the only coach to direct both Class A and B squads to state track titles.

On Oct. 21, 2005, the USD Foundation and the Athletic Department sponsored a charity pheasant hunt near Mitchell with all of the proceeds going to the Coach Dwane Clodfelter Scholarship Fund. Over $10,000 was raised during the hunt.

USD has already scheduled two other events to continue to raise money for the scholarship. On June 2, USD will feature the Clodfelter Scholarship during USD's Athletics Auction in Sioux Falls. Later in 2006, the second annual "Pheasants for Coyotes" fund raiser will be held on the first Friday of the pheasant season in October.

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