HOT SPRINGS – In addition to festivities this weekend to honor the inaugural class of inductees into the Hot Springs Athletics Hall of Fame, one of those inductees (see story page B5), Jim Tays will also receive some additional, special recognition, as the school formally dedicates one of its buildings and renames it in his honor.
During halftime of this Friday night’s homecoming game with the Custer Wildcats, the Hot Springs School District will formally dedicate the Middle School’s Activity Center and officially rename it the Tays Center, in honor of longtime coach and administrator Jim Tays.
Prior to a 37-year career as a coach and administrator at Hot Springs School, Tays had a stellar prep athletic career at Gettysburg High School where he was selected All-State in basketball and was a state champion high jumper (still holds Gettysburg High School Record at 6-foot, 3-inches from 1949). Following high school graduation, he attended the University of South Dakota where he played basketball and high jumped, setting the USD high jump record in 1954 at 6-4. Tays then served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56.
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He came to Hot Springs in 1960 and served as a teacher, coach and administrator until his retirement in 1997. During his long and successful tenure at Hot Springs High School, Tays coached basketball for three years before becoming Athletic Director and Track Head Coach. His Bison track teams won the Black Hills Conference five times and also featured 18 individual state champions.
As Athletic Director, he was a part of the school’s advancement from three sports for boys to what is now seven activities for both boys and girls following Title 9 requirements. In 1973, Tays became a charter member of the South Dakota High School Activities Directors. Other honors and awards he has received include induction into Gettysburg Athletic Hall of Fame, University of South Dakota Hall of Fame, South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame, and Distinguished Service through the SDHSAA.