Interview with Dickinson State President D.C. Coston

Below is Press Sports Editor Dustin Monke’s conversation with Dickinson State University President D.C. Coston about Blue Hawk athletics for the story that appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Dickinson Press: 

What are your feelings about athletics at Dickinson State and university-sponsored athletics in general?

Firstly, I enjoy collegiate athletics. I always have. Regardless of where I’ve been. All the way from being a student to the present, I try to get to as many events as I can just because of enjoying the competition.

I’ve also had the opportunity to witness, at a number of places, the visibility that athletics can create for the institution, as far as bringing a number of people to the institution. Hopefully we can find ways to showcase the rest of the university, using athletics as kind of a door opener with a number of people.

Another piece is when you have athletes, coaches and others who are obviously striving hard, having success and being very positive in the way they represent the institution, they can be a big part of helping the public perception of who and what an institution is. That’s some of the things we hope athletics can be at Dickinson State.

Frankly, you begin to look and a lot of times we think of athletes as athletes, and they’re student-athletes. We have something on the order of 400 young men and women that have been attracted to Dickinson State, who are in classes, doing well in classes and also happen to compete on the court or the field or whatever their particular event is. That’s very much a positive too.

Students come to universities for a number of reasons and we attract a lot of wonderful men and women because we do have an athletics program. 

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Legendary basketball coach Don Meyer captivates during speech in Lemmon

LEMMON, S.D. — Becky Engel was holding up the line.

Everyone behind her would have to wait though. The man who had just spoken for an hour was now listening intently to her.

Engel, an 18-year-old senior at Faith (S.D.) High School who is in remission from leukemia, was one of hundreds who listened to legendary basketball coach Don Meyer speak Tuesday afternoon at the Lemmon Armory.

Meyer, one of the winningest college basketball coaches of all time and a cancer survivor, spoke for about an hour on the subjects of leadership and character.

“It was nice to know that he still has the encouragement with all that he has gone through, and he gives me encouragement too,” said Engel, who was diagnosed last August. “… It helps me see that you have to stay strong through it all and keep going.”

The 67-year-old captivated an audience of mostly northwest South Dakota schools high school students and Lemmon community members with anecdotes, jokes and motivational talking points.

He struck a chord with Engel, however, because of his backstory.

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