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South Dakota promotes assistant Joey James to interim head coach

Sep 6, 2013, 6:15 PM EST

South Dakota Athletics South Dakota Athletics

On Tuesday it was announced that South Dakota head coach Dave Boots made the decision to retire after holding the position for 25 years. With the day that Division I program can begin practicing being three weeks away, South Dakota athletic director David Herbster didn’t have a lot of time to go through a national search for Boots’ successor.

As a result the school has promoted assistant coach Joey James, giving him the title of interim head coach for the 2013-14 campaign.

“David Boots’ resignation this close to the beginning of the season makes an extensive national search an impossibility,” Herbster said in the release. “After carefully considering our options, I have decided to appoint Assistant Coach Joey James interim head coach. At the conclusion of the season, a national search for the position will be conducted.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Coach James’ experience and caliber to give us leadership and continuity for the immediate future. His knowledge of the game, ability to recruit and to relate to the players makes him the right coach to lead the Coyote men this season.”

With James being promoted he’s obviously familiar with the roster, given the fact that he was Boots’ top recruiter before the head coach announced his decision to retire. South Dakota finished the 2012-13 season with a 10-20 record, going 5-11 in Summit League play. The Coyotes lost leading scorer Juevol Myles from last season’s team but welcome back junior guard Brandon Bos (11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and senior center Trevor Gruis (12.3, 6.1).

“Our staff and players will work hard on and off the court and will represent our University and program with great pride,” James stated. “We have a team that is ready to take another step in the process of competing for a Summit League championship. They play hard, compete hard and have great chemistry. Our staff is confident we will get the job done.”