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    Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame Spotlight: David Strain (Inducted 1980)

    Dave Strain, head coach of the Rapid City Central boy’s basketball team from 1963 through 1986, is a legend in Black Hills area high school sports.  Under Strain’s direction, the Cobblers established themselves as one of the premier programs in South Dakota. 

    Strain teams played in eighteen state tournaments (second most statewide during this era), and reached the championship game on eight of those occasions.  The Cobblers won state titles – 1969 and 1980. 

    The Cobblers amassed a record of 398-231 with Strain at the helm.

    Strain’s Cobbler program developed more all-state and all-tournament players than any other program in the state during his era.   

    Tops on the long list of accomplished Cobblers (and Rapid City Sports Hall of Famers) are John Dutton and Marty Waukazoo.  Dutton went on to star in the NFL, but received more Division I basketball scholarship offers than football as a senior in high school.  Waukazoo made history as the first Native American from South Dakota to be named All-American (1967).

    Although Strain is quick to deflect credit for all his success to his players and assistant coaches, he was twice recognized as High School Coach of the Year by the South Dakota Sports Writers Association (1969 and 1980), and was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association District 7 basketball Coach of the Year in 1969.  In addition, Strain was the first active coach to be inducted into the South Dakota Coaches Association Hall of Shrine, and received the first ever Ralph Ginn coaching award by his alma mater, South Dakota State University.

    As a player, Strain led White River to the 1949 Class B state tournament, and played college basketball at South Dakota State University. His first head coaching job was at Deadwood high school

    In retirement, Strain has continued to contribute to the Rapid City area basketball scene as advisor, mentor and fan.

    Listen to the interview with Coach Strain where he reflects upon his Hall of Fame career:

     

     

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