By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The Dakota Athletic Conference recognized South Dakota School of Mines Athletics Director Hugh Welsh for his many years of service at the helm of the Hardrockers’ sports programs by giving him the DAC Honor Award at a conference meeting recently in Spearfish.
Welsh will be retiring from his duties as athletics director at SD Mines and the award commemorated his time as a basketball coach and AD and his involvement in the DAC. Welsh served both positions from 1986 to 2005 and then just as the AD for SD Mines from 2006 to present.
“I feel greatly honored to receive this award from the conference,” Welsh said. “This has been a meaningful time in my life working with the league commissioner and the other conference AD’s. I will truly miss all those involved.” Welsh served as head coach of the Hardrocker men's basketball program for 19 seasons (1986-2005). During his tenure as head coach, he compiled a 268-273 won-loss record, took the 1997 team to a NAIA National tournament and has two conference championship titles to his credit. Welsh is the second longest-tenured coach in the men's basketball program (behind Bob Hunt, who coached the Hardrockers for 21 years). He has more wins than any men's coach in school history, and was named the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year on two occasions and also Athletic Director of the Year on two others. His career coaching record is 545 wins and 380 losses. During his career at the School of Mines, the athletics program has grown with the reinstallation of the men's and women's golf programs in 2001. He has also presided over a dramatic overhaul in athletic facilities, with the 2006 installation of high-quality, state-of-the-art artificial turf at O'Harra Stadium's Dunham Field. Other improvements include the addition of a multi-media scoreboard; renovated King Center varsity locker rooms for the men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball teams; and a 4,200-square-foot Dunham Field locker room for the football team. Welsh also oversaw the construction of a new gym floor in Goodell Gymnasium.
These improvements benefit not only the School of Mines, but the more than 50,000 fans from the Rapid City community and beyond who attend football and basketball games, track and field events, soccer and volleyball matches, and other events at the O'Harra Stadium and the King Center each year.
Welsh receives honor award from DAC
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