By David Lias
The Vermillion School Board will soon begin a search for a new head high school football coach and a new head high school gymnastics coach.
Monday night, the board agreed to release both Gary Culver and Mark Upward from their extra duty assignments as football coach and gymnastics coach, respectively.
Both men will continue in their roles as educators for the Vermillion School District. Culver teaches mathematics at Vermillion High School. Upward is the district’s elementary principal.
One thing is certain – the school board won’t be able to find two individuals with as much coaching experience as the two men.
Culver, the all-time winningest coach at Vermillion High School, has completed 36 years at the helm of the Tanager football program. During his tenure, he led the Tanagers to five state championships in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1999.
Under his direction, the Tanagers also won 10 regional championships, 12 Big Eight Conference championships, and made 27 playoff appearances in the 32 years of high school football playoffs in South Dakota.
Upward just completed his 33rd year as head gymnastics coach at Vermillion High School. “He has been very successful during that time in that capacity,” Superintendent Mark Froke said.
Upward coached seven state championship teams, and seven state runner-up championship teams. “He also has coached 42 individual state title winners, and has gone to the state tournament 27 of his 33 years coaching,” said Chris Esping, school board president.
The complete story will appear in Friday’s Plain Talk.