David Herster – The Athletic Director at the University of South Dakota
David Herbster has excelled as Athletic Director at the University of South Dakota and his leadership has been invaluable. From making the right hires to building up the athletic department’s brand and supporting student athletes in their pursuits, his leadership has been instrumental.
When not helping students at USD, Herbster enjoys watching his beloved South Dakota Coyotes play football. He is married and has three daughters.
Early Life and Education
Dave Herster was born in Fargo, North Dakota and spent his youth sailing. Afterwards he attended Rollins College where he earned a degree in Business Administration.
Herbster went on to work in athletics for several universities, such as Concordia University in St. Paul, North Dakota State and Pittsburg State.
His duties included coaching football, basketball and baseball as well as serving on the Board of Directors for South Dakota Special Olympics.
He currently serves as Director of Sports for the University of South Dakota, having raised more than $100 million to build a new basketball arena and track complex.
Dave Herbster has served the University of South Dakota athletics administration for eight years, helping raise over $100 million towards constructing a basketball arena, track and field complex and soccer complex in Vermillion.
His professional career has been marred by allegations of sexual assault and misconduct with women in the state, which surfaced in mid-April and have been defended by Herbster’s political opponents, such as Republican state Sen. Julie Slama and hog farmer Jim Pillen (both with Governor Pete Ricketts’ support).
Last week, Herbster’s team filed a motion to quash a deposition scheduled for May 6. They claimed the other side was playing politics by scheduling it so close to his lost primary election.
Achievement and Honors
David Herbster is in his 14th year as director of athletics at the University of South Dakota and has held that role since 2007. Prior to moving to Vermillion, Herbster served as head men’s basketball coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 2005-07.
He’s been instrumental in raising more than $100 million for USD over the last six years, including a basketball arena, track and field complex, soccer complex and $26.3 million renovation to DakotaDome that’s nearly complete. Additionally, he serves on both boards for South Dakota Special Olympics and Vermillion Area Sports Authority Committee.
David Herbster was a highly esteemed colleague, father, and husband who inspired many through his charismatic leadership within the banking industry.
Family members and colleagues praised his kind nature and desire to connect with people. He had an avid reading habit and always sought out new knowledge.
He was an active Catholic, serving as pastor and chaplain in the Archdiocese of Newark. Additionally, he lived on-site at Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell where he helped form a group for retired priests who could meet regularly for discussion and prayer.
He is now a major contender in a three-way GOP race for governor, and has the support of President Donald Trump. However, allegations of sexual abuse leveled against him by several women have proved to be an enormous setback.
Herbster’s assets include a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania that once belonged to his parents and farm investment properties in Colorado. Furthermore, he owns rental homes and businesses throughout multiple cities.
In 2014, Herbster contributed $2.7 million to state senator Beau McCoy’s campaign for governor of Nebraska. With an estimated net worth of $50 million, Herbster had a substantial financial stake in this election.
But in this year’s race, he was embroiled in scandal after women accused him of sexual misconduct – including one state senator. These accusations sparked a lawsuit.
According to internal campaign schedules obtained by the Nebraska Examiner, a dozen former campaign staffers, including former running mate Theresa Thibodeau and an influential political mentor, are now encouraging Herbster to withdraw from the race. This pressure has significantly cut into his lead in polls with University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen and State Sen. Brett Lindstrom; according to their internal schedules.