The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Neuharth Media Center on the campus of USD. President John Prescott opened the meeting and led us in the invocation and recitation of the Rotary 4-Way test of the things we think, say, and do. This was followed by a round of singing, introduction of guests including 4 Vermillion High School seniors, and announcements.
Rotarian David Herbster introduced David Boots as our speaker for the day. Mr. Boots is the head coach of the men�s basketball program at USD. He has been at USD for 23 years. He has a total of 588 wins with 473 at USD.
Coach Boots reminded us that we are in the fourth year of the transition from Division II to Division I. He said that the transition was difficult in that USD was not eligible for any post-season play. He also told us that next year will be the last year in the Great West Conference and we will then move into the Summit League Conference.
He praised the university, administration, and staff for their assistance and support. He said we have a great school to sell to others.
He said that either successes or failures along the road should not overwhelm us. He tells the team that they have to be consistent if they are to succeed. He also stated that one of the most difficult parts of the transition has been the travel required to play the teams needed for a full schedule. It has also been difficult academically because of the challenge of missing 18 days of classes. The team members and the staff take academics seriously and work very hard to overcome this problem. He praised the academic advisors for their hard work.
He also mentioned that they have had more injuries this year than is normal. Interestingly, all the injuries have been in practice and not in actual games. He encourages other players to step up when that happens. He also encourages the team members to set high goals. He also tells them to appreciate what they have in terms of facilities and support.
Above all, academics are taken very seriously. The team members are student-athletes and graduation is a high priority.