Former Cobbler coach Dave Strain dies

Former Cobbler coach Dave Strain dies

South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Famer, former Rapid City Central boys' coach Dave Strain, died Thursday in Rapid City.

Strain, 88, spent 24 seasons leading the Cobblers in their heyday, guiding the Cobblers to 18 state tournaments between 1963 and 1986, winning championships in 1969 and 1980. Central was also state runners-up six times (1965, '67, '74, '75, '79 and '82).

Central’s 1969 team is widely considered one of the top teams in state history. That season’s Cobblers featured standouts John Dutton, Jack Tennyson, Steve Withorne and Rich Gerry.

A product of White River where he starred as the Tigers reached the Class B state tournament in 1949, Strain played collegiately at South Dakota State University. He then coached for three years at Deadwood before moving to Rapid City Central.

Strain won 398 games during his career as a head coach. He became the first active coaching recipient of the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Shrine in 1985.

Strain was also named the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame and was selected High School Coach of the Year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association in 1969 and 1980. He also was the National High School Athletic Coaches Association District 7 (a seven-state region) basketball coach of the year in 1969.

Memorial visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., with a 6 p.m. time of sharing on Tuesday at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City.

Memorial service will be 10 a.m., Wednesday at 1st United Methodist Church in Rapid City.

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