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USD athletic director departing for job with Sanford

David Herbster
Courtesy photo
University of South Dakota
David Herbster

USD Athletic Director David Herbster is leaving the university for a position with Sanford Health.

Herbster served as the school's athletic director since 2013. His last day is Aug. 30.

Under his leadership, USD athletics undertook several major projects including construction of the $73 million Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The university also saw some of its biggest sporting achievements since joining Division I, including an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance by the women's basketball team in 2022.

“The University of South Dakota thanks David for his exceptional service and dedication to our athletic program,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring in a press release sent Monday. “As an integral part of the Coyote community for the last decade, David’s leadership has left a lasting impact on the lives of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and staff. USD's athletic program has flourished over the past decade under his leadership, and we appreciate all his efforts in building a strong foundation for USD’s future athletic success.”

Herbster said serving as USD’s athletic director has been “a privilege and an honor,” though the decision to pursue a new path was not one he made lightly.

“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,” he said. “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.”

As part of his new position, Herbster will be responsible for building relationships with local business leaders and community nonprofit organizations, as well as finding new opportunities for business development and strategic partnerships for Sanford Health.

USD officials said the search for a new athletic director begins in January, with the goal of finding a new leader by the 2024 Summit League Tournament.

Corey Jenkins, USD’s senior associate athletic director for operations and facility management, will serve as interim athletic director. Mike Alden, former University of Missouri athletic director and CEO of MRJ Advisors, will serve as special assistant to the president during the transition.