VERMILLION, S.D. (KWSN)—University of South Dakota head men’s basketball coach David Boots has announced he is retiring from coaching following a highly-successful, 25-year career at USD and following 32 years as a head men’s basketball coach.
Boots, 57, is the winningest coach in program history, posting a 503-235 record for a win percentage of .681. He led the Coyotes to 23 consecutive winning seasons from 1989-2011, 10 NCAA Division II tournaments, six North Central Conference championships and back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 1993 and 1994. At the Division I level, Boots won a Great West Championship in 2010, which culminated with a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Boots amassed 618 wins in 32 seasons as a head basketball coach. He holds the 14th-most wins in Division II history (603) and is a seven-time conference coach of the year honoree.
Statement from Dave Boots:“For the past 25 years, I have enjoyed leading the Coyote basketball program. The time has come for a new face and new voice to now lead. Peggy and I want to thank everyone who supported us and made our experience so enjoyable. USD was truly a special place for our family.
“I would like to thank all of the assistant coaches that worked with me over the years and a special thanks to Coach (Joey) James and Coach (Chris) Kassin for their many years of commitment and loyalty. They made my job easy.
“To all of the former players, I will forever cherish the opportunity I had to be a part of your lives. What great memories I will carry with me.
“To the current team members, I wish you the very best. You deserve success and I will be watching closely as you accomplish great things.
“And to all the fans, alumni and friends, I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be part of a very special place.”
Statement from USD director of athletics David Herbster:“Today, I accepted the decision of Coach Dave Boots to retire and step down as head basketball coach at the University of South Dakota. I appreciate everything that Dave Boots has done for USD, Coyote athletics and our basketball program. Timing is never ideal and I know he didn’t reach this decision without careful thought and consideration.
“Coach Boots has left an impact on basketball in the state of South Dakota, and his 25 years of service to the game here on this campus has left the foundation of an incredibly strong program.”
More on Coach Boots:
Boots is a 1979 graduate of Augsburg College and earned his master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1982. As a senior at Augsburg during the 1978-79 campaign, Boots was named team captain, the team's most valuable player, All-MIAC and All-District 13. He is still the holder of the MIAC single-season free throw percentage record (.971) and Augsburg's career free-throw percentage mark (.881).
After his playing days, Boots served as an assistant coach at Augsburg for two seasons. In 1981-82, he was named head coach at Anoka Ramsey Community College, where he guided his team to a third-place conference finish (15-7). Boots replaced Rees Johnson as head coach at Augsburg in 1982 and led his first team to an 18-8 record. The next year Boots guided the Auggies to the MIAC title (17-3) and he was named MIAC Coach of the Year. He repeated as MIAC Co-Coach of the Year as Augsburg repeated as conference champions in 1984-85 (18-2), advancing to the NCAA Division III South Regional.
Boots was named USD’s 15th head coach in April of 1988. He led the Coyotes to 16 20-win seasons, six NCC championships and two North Central Regional crowns. South Dakota appeared in five consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2004-08 and were consistently ranked in the top 25.
Prior to Boots’ arrival, the Coyotes had not experienced a winning season in nine years (since 1978-79). By comparison, USD’s 23 consecutive winning seasons was the longest streak of success in the proud history of South Dakota basketball. In one of the nation’s best conferences, Boots’ teams compiled a 216-114 (.655) record – the best mark of any league member in that time. The Coyotes never finished lower than fifth in the NCC during Boots’ tenure. Besides the six titles, Boots had four runner-up finishes to his credit.