De Smet’s Gruenhagen named COTY by SDHSCA


SIOUX FALLS — De Smet’s Jeff Gruenhagen was selected as the boys’ basketball Coach of the Year for the winter 2021 season by the South Dakota High School Coaches Association.

Gruenhagen led the Bulldogs to the Class B state championship this season.

Also nominated for the boys’ basketball honor were Mitch Begeman of Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Jay Drake of Vermillion and Mike Schouten of Sioux Falls Christian.

Other Coach of the Year winners were Audra Rew of Mitchell (gymnastics); Thomas Konechne of Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes (wrestling); Derek Larson of Aberdeen Roncalli (girls’ basketball); Bill Clements of Dakota Valley (athletic director); and Jerry Beers of Brookings (official).

The other nominees were — gymnastics: Less Coin of Sioux Falls Lincoln, Dana Nachtigall of Hot Springs and Caitlin Steffensen of Deuel; wrestling: Matt Donnelly of Philip Area, Shawn Lewis of Pierre, Spencer Novotny of Winner, Derek Outland of Brandon Valley and Chas Welch of Watertown; girls’ basketball: Jared Bouman of White River, Jamie Parish of Sioux Falls Washington and Leslie Tvedt of Castlewood; athletic director: Gene Brownell of Aberdeen Central, Paul Nepodal of Deubrook Area and Joey Struwe of Sioux Falls Lincoln; and official: Kris Dozark of Pierre, Angie Kinsley of Murdo, Jeff Lukens of Sioux Falls, Steve Meyer of Vermillion, Darcy Nagel of Rapid City, Paul Rozell of Aberdeen, Mike Watson of Sturgis and Maria Wengert of Tea.

The award winners will be recognized at the annual awards banquet to be held at 1 p.m., on June 20 at the Ramkota in Rapid City.  

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