CLEVELAND—University of South Dakota’s David Herbster has been named an FCS Athletic Director of the Year by NACDA. He will be rec¬ognized as such leading up to and in conjunc¬tion with the 2021 NACDA & Affiliates Virtual Convention July 27-28.
The Athletic Director of the Year Award highlights the efforts of athletic directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contri¬butions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.
“I am overwhelmed and humbled to get the news about this award,” said Herbster. “The ADOY is a special award in that the voters are your peers and fellow leaders in intercollegiate athletics.
“As athletic directors, we provide opportu¬nities for student-athletes and celebrate their victories and accomplishments, and we don’t think about the impact we are making. We have a special group here at the University of South Dakota from top to bottom, and this as much their award as it is mine.”
Herbster is in his 14th year at USD and has served as athletic director for the last eight. Prior to arriving in Vermillion, he was athletic director at Nebraska-Omaha from 2005-07 and at Concordia-St. Paul from 2001-04.
“David is a champion for all USD students both on and off the court, and he is incredibly deserving of this honor,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “For over a decade, David has led our Coyote sports programs through many victories with determination and hard work. He is a source of positivity for all of us at USD.”
Herbster’s achievements are plentiful, but he’d likely be most proud that 75 percent of Coyote student-athletes who compete within
the Summit League are members of the league’s Academic Honor Roll. Also, the Coyotes were on their way to winning a second consecutive Sum¬mit League Commissioner’s Cup and an unprec¬edented fifth consecutive Women’s All-Sports Award when play was cancelled last March. Of course, the most recent example of success is women’s basketball winning Tuesday’s Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.
Herbster has helped raise more than $100 million in the last six years for a newly-complet¬ed basketball arena, track and field complex and soccer complex. He is also anxious to debut a $26.3 million renovation of the DakotaDome on Saturday when Coyote football plays their home opener, and is nearly complete with a second phase of that renovation that improves coaches offices and meeting spaces.
Outside the office, Herbster serves on the South Dakota Special Olympics Board of Direc¬tors, and USD is one of 36 Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools across the country. He also chaired The Summit League Joint Council, is a Rotary Club board member and is a founding and current member of Vermillion Area Sports Authority Committee.
“As we reflect upon all that has happened in our industry and in our world over the past year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to honor the dedica¬tion and passion that NACDA athletic direc¬tors have for their student-athletes,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA CEO. “We applaud the efforts of the men and women across the country who have served as a source of inspiration and strength in leading their departments through this unprecedented time.”