It is fun to watch athletes hit milestones.
This week, University of South Dakota men's basketball coach Dave Boots became the 64th coach in men's college basketball history to reach 600 career wins. In his 31st season, the Anoka, Minn., native now has a record of 600-263.
He is the all-time winningest coach - by several hundred games - in the history of USD. In 24 seasons, the Coyotes are 485-200 under Boots. Boots also is one of the few coaches who has a winning record against Northern State. His teams are 2-1 against the Wolves.
We've had a lot of really, really good players, Boots told the media after the milestone win. If you keep doing it as long as we've done it here, you'd better have a lot of good players. They're the ones that let you win the games. They get out and perform. We've been blessed with that. We've had an enormous number of really good assistant coaches. Most of those guys have played here and stayed on and become coaches for us. That's one of the most special things I have with this.
Boots has done a great job at USD. He has been a consistent winner and his steady hand at the helm has helped make the always bumpy transitition from NCAA Division II to DI easier for the Coyotes. USD will begin its first basketball season in the Summit League tonight at at Oakland (Mich.) University.
Some of the great players Boots has coached throughout the years include former Warner standout Chuck Welke Jr., Tim Hatchett, Tommie King, Josh Mueller, Turner Trofholz and Tyler Cain. Many of his former standout players have become standout coaches as well, including Ryun Williams, Shane Murphy, John Hemenway and Nate Tibbetts.
Boots loves the Coyotes and they love him.
This is exactly where I wanted to be, Boots said. This is a great place to coach. USD is a special place to us. We appreciate everything that everybody has done for us.
Here are the lists of all of the USD, NSU and South Dakota State men's basketball coaches and their records.
A.H. Buck Whittemore (1908-10)É15-4
Joseph A. Pipal (1910-11)É7-3
Rev. James Henderson (1911-14)É22-7
Ion J. Cortright (1914-15)É13-3-1
Blaine McKusick (1916-17)É8-1
John W. Stewart (1918-22)É27-18
Bert Ekbert (1922-23)É5-15
Vincent Montgomery (1923-27)É33-34
George DeKlotz (1949-52)É24-41