In August of 2012, I decided to begin work on my (just completed) book project “Cloddy” – the biography of my late father Dwane “Cloddy” Clodfelter, former men’s basketball coach at the University of South Dakota from 1954 – 1967. I chose this subject because I believe it’s a good story and a story worth telling. My father was a pioneer in the integration of college basketball in the 1950’s and 60’s. He was also a “character.”
Eight years before Texas Western won the men’s Division I national basketball championship starting five black players against all white Kentucky (The book and movie “Glory Road” tell their story), my father and his University of South Dakota Coyotes won a Division II national championship in 1958 led by two black brothers from Brooklyn, NY, Cliff and Jimmie Daniels. Many universities during the 1950’s were not integrated. “Cloddy’s” decision to integrate South Dakota’s flagship university was courageous and he was duly rewarded for doing so.
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RELATED NEWSPAPER ARTICLES: USA TODAY “Neuharth: Cheerleading Week worth cheering about” (Mar. 1, 2013) By Al Neuharth I had the opportunity to interview USA TODAY Founder Al Neuharth (USD Class of 1950) for the “Cloddy” book by phone in February of 2013. During the 1942-1943 school year, Al was a high school student at Alpena High School where my dad was teaching and coaching. Al told me he tried out for the basketball team, but didn’t make it. Al said, “Kim, your dad explained to me that if I wanted to get on the team bus to out of town games, I’d have to become a cheerleader.” So he did! Al became a cheerleader and also was editor of the Alpena High newspaper. A couple of weeks after this interview, I received a call from a young woman at USA TODAY who invited me to be one of the responders to Al’s weekly Friday USA TODAY Plain Talk column. The article is entitled “Neuharth: Cheerleading Week worth cheering about.” To Read the article, click on the link.
Yankton (SD) Press & Dakotan “Looking Back at Cloddy” (April 8, 2013) By Jeremy Hoeck Dad taught and coached at 6 different South Dakota high schools (Forestburg, Fedora, Alpena, Centerville, Yankton, and Huron) over a period of 14 years before arriving at the University of South Dakota. His fifth stop was in Yankton during the 1949-50 school year. These were interesting and important years in his development as a coach and a person and will be highlighted in the book “Cloddy.” My sister Claudia sent me a small photo of dad’s Yankton High School’s basketball team outfitted in luminescent pink uniforms which he bought just before the sectional tournament. These uniforms created quite a stir.
I approached Kelly Hertz, Editor of the Yankton P & D, and sports writer Jeremy Hoeck about writing an article. I thought there must be a story there about those gaudy pink uniforms. There was. Jeremy interviewed several people including me and did a great job on the story. “Looking Back at Cloddy.”
The Volante – The University of South Dakota student newspaper. “Clodfelter’s Lasting Legacy” (Febrary 26, 2013) By Creighton Hoefer In the early stages of researching for the book “Cloddy,” I went to the offices of the Volante to see if they had microfilm of Volante articles going back to the 1950’s. They didn’t. However, I explained what I was doing and the Volante staff expressed interest in doing a story about dad and the writing of the book. USD student staff writer Creighton Hoefer was assigned the task of interviewing me and a few others for the article. He also wrote the article and I thought did a very fine job.
VERMILLION (SD) PLAIN TALK “Breaking Racial Barriers” (Jan. 17, 2014) By Plain Talk Editor, David Lias In September of 2013, I met Vermillion Plain Talk Editor David Lias in his office. He interviewed me for an article about dad. A few months later, during Martin Luther King, Jr Week, David wrote a very timely article crediting Cloddy for his work as a pioneer in the integration of college basketball. I received a lot of positive response from David’s fine article “Breaking Racial Barriers.”
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA PRESS RELEASE “USD coach led the fight to integrate college basketball in the 1950’s” (Aug. 28, 2013) On August 27, 2013, I visited the USD Department of Marketing and University Relations in order to get permission to use a USD photo. I spoke with Tena Haroldson, the director. During the course of our conversation, Tena “out of the blue” suggested that USD should issue a press release on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream Speech.” The press release would highlight Dwane Clodfelter’s contribution to the integration of college basketball as early as 1954 – nine years before King’s “Dream Speech.” Tena asked me to write up a press release. I had never attempted this before. So I asked her, “What’s the purpose of a press release?” She responded, “Attention!” I laughed and said, “That works for me!” So I wrote a press release and sent it to Phil Carter, head of Media Relations at USD. He edited and rewrote the press release I sent him and “Voila,” USD issued the press release the next day, Aug. 28, 2013 – exactly 50 years from King’s speech.
RELATED RADIO INTERVIEWS: VIEWPOINT UNIVERSITY: Interview of Kim Clodfelter (April 11, 2014) Radio Hosts: Rick Knobe and Dan Peters During my time in Sioux Falls in April for Jack Theeler’s induction into the SD Sports Hall of Fame, I had opportunity to be interviewed in the studio of Viewpoint University (KSOO AM 1140). Rick Knobe and Dan Peters host the show.
Rick started the interview with this introduction: “Kim Clodfelter is our guest today on Viewpoint University. Here to do shameless promotion of a book not yet published…” Rick has a refined sense of humor that has served him well both as former mayor of Sioux Falls and now as host of the Viewpoint University radio show. Rick’s co-host Dan Peters, a Wagner native, conducted most of the interview – as Dan is a USD grad and more the sports buff. I really enjoyed the interview and Rick and Dan do a great job with their show. Later in the interview I mentioned to Rick I have started a website kimclodfelter.com for “the sole purpose of shamelessly promoting the ‘Cloddy book!'” Touche’!
To listen to the two interview segments, click on the links below: Segment One:
SPORTSMAX RADIO: Interview of Kim Clodfelter (Jan. 25, 2014) Radio Host: Mike Henriksen In late January, I received a call from SPORTSMAX RADIO host Mike Henriksen asking me if I would like to do an interview about dad during Martin Luther King, Jr Week. “SPORTSMAX” is an hour-long radio sports talk show that airs on 16 stations across South Dakota. Mike does a great job hosting and the interview was aired the weekend of Jan. 25, 2014.
ELDER LAW FORUM RADIO SHOW: Interview of Kim Clodfelter (June 4, 2013) Radio Host: Mike Myers I met Mike Myers one day in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the campus of the University of South Dakota. He invited me to be a guest interview on his weekly radio show “Elder Law Forum.” I accepted his invitation and it was a great experience to be interviewed on radio for the first time. The first four minutes of the interview is a monologue by Mike and there is also a short health segment in the middle of the 30 minute program. The interview is entitled “The Examined Life of Coach Dwane ‘Cloddy’ Clodfelter w/ guest Kim Clodfelter.” (Show 532) To Listen, click on the “Download” button and then “Open” at the bottom of the page.
SPORTSMAX RADIO: Interview of Kim Clodfelter (Jan. 25, 2014) Re-aired Thanksgiving weekend November 28-30 as one of the “Best of 2014” on SPORTSMAX RADIO. Radio Host: Mike Henriksen.