Behind The Desk: David Herbster

Behind The Desk: David Herbster

Behind The Desk is a weekly feature this summer profiling each of The Summit League's lead athletic administrators. These leaders provide a glimpse into their background and personal life along with their take on various aspects of college athletics.

In this week's installment, South Dakota Athletics Director David Herbster is profiled.

NAME: David Herbster 

SCHOOL: University of South Dakota

Where I'm From: Born in Fargo, N.D., and went to Air Force bases in seven different states before my dad retired to Virginia. I went to high school in Chantilly, Va.

Where I Went to School: Bachelor's degree in Business in '91 and Master's degree in Sports Management in '94 – both from Virginia Tech.

My First Job: Lawn mowing entrepreneur. It taught me responsibility, sales, hard work and the satisfaction of doing a job well.

What I Like …


An Influential Person in My Career: Dave Braine. He was the athletic director at Virginia Tech when I was playing basketball there. I was fortunate to get to know him through serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and later in graduate school. It made me realize all the work that went into providing for the opportunities athletes were afforded. I knew I could never truly thank him the way I thought he should be. So, I am paying it forward and providing others the same opportunity I had.

A Timeless Idea: Saying please and thank you.

A Sports Facility: Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals. I saw my first baseball game there in 1976 and it's even better now.

A Sports Event: Watching my daughters compete and any USD athletic event.

A Brand:  Adidas, and any clothing line that comes in extra tall.

A Trend: The Kiss Cam. Come on, can it get more awkward when they don't want to?

An Innovation: GeoFencing.

An Idea or Invention I Wish I Had Thought Of: Double-sided tape.

What I Like about …

My Job: Watching student-athletes go from their recruiting visit to walking across the stage at graduation.

Sports: Building confidence, a sense of teamwork and personal growth.
The Direction of Sports Business: Innovation. Across all sports at all levels, I'm always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity exhibited by teams to bring fans to games (or the games to them) and find ways to entertain the fans outside of the competition itself.

Sports Fans:
  The passion and ownership they take in their teams.

What I would like to …

See More of in Sports: Sportsmanship.

See More of in Sports Business:  Making decisions with the best interest of our student-athletes at the center.

See Different: Have the confidence to focus your energy on the things that you can do well rather than worry about what someone else is doing and try to keep up.


What I like …

People: Honest people who don't try to pretend to be more than they are.

That Would Surprise Those Who Know Me: I love to cook. My mom taught me early on, if you like to eat, you better learn to cook.

My parents and my wife. It's amazing what they did to raise me and currently do to put up with me. All with love and support.

All USD Coyotes, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, San Antonio Spurs.

Minneapolis and San Antonio. The blend of culture, people, arts, entertainment and a Midwestern mindset makes them fun to explore.

I do not keep too many mementos but one of the few is a baseball autographed by George Brett and Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals.

Books: Fiction books. I would say the author Vince Flynn is my favorite.

Give me a good action packed movie with superheroes or a funny Pixar movie. My favorite to this day is "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" with Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

I took my family on a Griswold family vacation to Virginia and Washington D.C. My girls had never been there before so I was able to show them where I grew up and take them to all that D.C. has to offer. They still talk about it to this day.

Websites:, When you don't know, go to the Google.

Gadget: Smartphone

App: Twitter and MapQuest

Quote: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust, sweat and blood... At the best he knows the triumph of high achievement, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

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