June 6, 2014
MADISON, S.D. – Buzz Stevenson, who announced his retirement this spring, has become somewhat of a legend in cross country and track and field at Dakota State University. He had produced top quality student-athletes during his 29 years as the head coach for the Trojans.
Stevenson, a native of Ipswich, S.D., has been coaching high school and college student-athletes for more than 45 years. He graduated from Ipswich High School where he was a three-sport athlete. He was selected as South Dakota High School Football All-State running back. In addition, Stevenson was a star in the 100- and 220-yard races where he placed at the state track meet as a junior and senior.
He continued his education at Yankton College and played football and ran track for a South Dakota legend, Carl Youngworth. He was an All-Conference wide receiver and a member of a track and field team that won two conference championships from 1964-65.
After graduating from Yankton in 1965, Stevenson received his Master of Education degree from South Dakota State University in 1973. He was a high school coach for 14 years, with 10 years at Huron High School. He led the Huron boys' team to their first ever Eastern South Dakota Conference championship. He then guided them to two more conference championships in 1977 and 1978. Stevenson guided his 1977 boys' team to a state runner-up honor, and his girls' cross country team finished as state champions.
He was also a college coach for two seasons at his alma mater prior coming to Dakota State University.
When Stevenson arrived in Madison, Dakota State's mission statement had just changed and the cross country and track and field programs were depleted.
He recalled that he spent hours and hours on the phone trying to convince kids to come to Dakota State University. It was not long until Stevenson started to get recruits in the programs and his teams were able to capture a total of 14 South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) titles.
In his years at Dakota State University, Stevenson has coached two first-ever national champions in the track and field programs. Desa Rae Doyle was the first-ever female to become a national champion in 2000, as she won the NAIA Women's Indoor Track & Field in the high jump event. Andy Coy became the first male national champion in the 1000-meter run at the 2012 NAIA Indoor Track & Field national meet. Stevenson has coached several national runner-ups.
Over the years, Stevenson has coached a total of 60-plus NAIA All-American status and over 100 All-Conference performances. In addition, he has earned numerous coaching honors. He was the South Dakota High School boys' track and field coach of the year, SDIC coach of the year 14 times and Great Plains Regional Cross Country coach of the year twice.
Stevenson is a member of the Huron High School Hall of Fame and was an honorary referee at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.
Buzz currently resides in Sioux Falls with his wife Diane of 27 years.
For further information and so that we may plan appropriately for the banquet Saturday evening (June 7), please RSVP by contacting the Athletic Department at 605-256-5229 or e-mail Carla Sudenga at [email protected]. Tickets are $14 per person and may be purchased at the door. The social begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:15 p.m. The program will begin at approximately 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.
2014 DSU Athletic Hall of Fame Series
Monday, June 2 - Desa Rae Cleveland (Doyle)
Tuesday, June 3 - Amy Tvedt (Hansen)
Wednesday, June 4 - Lorin Larsen
Thursday, June 5 - Ryan Phillips
Friday, June 6 - Buzz Stevenson
Friday, June 6 -
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director