On Aug. 14, University of South Dakota Athletic Director (AD) David Herbster announced that he was stepping down from his position and accepting a new position with the community relations team for Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.
“For the past 16 years, I have been blessed to work alongside so many outstanding student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, fans and members of the campus community,” Hebster said to GoYotes.com. “Seeing where we were when I arrived on campus in 2007 to where we are now is truly amazing. The progress we have made athletically and institutionally is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of this campus.”
Before Herbster was hired as the 13th AD of USD and named FCS Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics for 2020-2021, he served as the associate athletic director and deputy director since 2007.
He worked under Joel Nielsen, who brought South Dakota up to the Division I level in 2008 and secured a spot for all sports outside of football to compete in the Summit League conference.
In the 2016-17 athletic season, Herbster brought a new site for South Dakota athletics with the building of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The Sanford Coyote Sports Center can hold 6,000 spectors and boasts two full-sized practice courts, locker rooms, a film room, meeting rooms, a 7,500 square-foot weight room and a sports medicine room.
Herbster also played a key part in the renovations of the DakotaDome, which finished before the 2020 football season. The upgraded DakotaDome featured two additional entrances on the west side of the stadium. It also included a new locker room, suites, boxes and coaching opportunities for the football team.
One of the last projects Herbster initiated was the upgrade to the Wellness Center, which is projected to finish in the fall of 2024.This upgrade will include a new competition pool with removable bulkheads to be separated into different zones, a NinjaCross obstacle course that can be lowered and raised from the ceiling in 60 seconds, a leisure pool, a hot tub and steam room.
Aside from the construction of many buildings on campus, Herbster helped the ticket sales rise up to 510%. He also helped the Howling Pack, as it increased membership numbers by 200% and the annual funds by 520%.
While the university searches for a new AD, Corey Jenkins will serve as the interim AD. Jenkins previously has served as USD’s senior associate athletic director for operations and facility management since 2018.
USD will also bring in Mike Alden to be the special assistant to the president during the transition. Alden previously served as the University of Missouri athletic director and CEO of MRJ Advisors.
“Our focus is bringing a proven, high-integrity individual who puts student-athletes first and wins the right way,” University of South Dakota President Sheila Gestring said to GoYotes.com. “We look forward to continuing a legacy of excellence in Coyote Athletics now and into the future.”