Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Athletic director Scott Larson resigns

Mark Nore steps in as interim A.D.

Black Hills State University (BHSU) is once again on the hunt for a new athletic director (AD) following Scott Larson’s unexpected resignation after the conclusion of the Fall 2023 semester.

It was announced Aug. 9, 2023, by former BHSU President, Dr. Laurie Nichols, Larson would fill the shoes of Padraic McMeel, who resigned after a two-year stint with Black Hills.

“Scott brings with him a strategic vision and unmatched NCAA knowledge that will elevate Black Hills State athletics,” said Dr. Nichols in a newsletter published by the BHSU Communications Department. “…Ultimately, it was the continued success of student-athletes, coaches, and athletics under Scott’s leadership that set him apart. His familiarity competing on regional and national championship stages will continue to enhance BHSU.”

Larson transferred to BHSU from his position as Athletics Director at Lubbock Christian University (LCU), an NCAA Division II institution in Lubbock, Texas. During his three years as the LCU AD, the athletics department brought home three national championships and made appearances in 20 national championships.

In addition to the athletic accolades, under Larson, the LCU student-athletes had consistently achieved overall grade point averages above 3.2, and 119 student-athletes were presented with the 2022-23 DII ADA Academic Achievement Award. Larson was also responsible for the development of a new track and field, soccer and tennis facilities.

Previous to LCU, Larson served in athletic administration at the University of South Carolina Upstate, the University of Texas at El Paso, Arizona State University, the University of Wisconsin, Gardner-Webb University and Northern Arizona University.

“I have long been impressed with Yellow Jacket athletics from a distance, and it is an incredible opportunity to join the outstanding coaches, staff and student-athletes,” Larson said. “I am extremely excited to get to campus and get to work.”

However, just under 5 months after he was hired, Larson resigned from the AD position.

“It was never my intention to be [at BHSU] for such a short period of time,” Larson said. “There were just family and personal reasons that led to that decision being made.”

Larson returned to his family in Lubbock shortly after resigning. He now plans to try his hand at an athletic consulting firm closer to home.

In the wake of Larson’s resignation, BHSU President Steve Elliott announced women’s basketball head coach, Mark Nore, as Interim Athletic Director. 

“We appreciate the guidance Scott provided during his tenure in Spearfish,” said Elliott in an announcement from the BHSU Athletics Department. “We now look forward to leaning into Coach Nore’s loyalty, dedication and passion he has provided to BHSU Athletics for over 20 years.”

Nore was named the sixth head coach in program history five games into the 2002-03 women’s basketball season. Since then he has become the record holder for most all-time wins in Black Hills State University women’s basketball history with an overall record of 358-226. Nore has also led BHSU women’s basketball to eight total national tournament appearances, four of which were NAIA and four were NCAA.

“Obviously, it’s an honor to be a part of such a great place,” said Nore in an interview with the Rapid City Journal. “The timing is not great, but it’s an honor, and I definitely feel blessed to be a part of it.”

Nore has served BHSU athletics for over two decades now, but he’s been green and gold for far longer than that. Nore is a Belle Fourche native, and, following his graduation from Belle Fourche High School, he committed to the BHSU men’s basketball team in 1993.

Nore earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Special Education from Black Hills State in 1999 and went on to earn his Master of Science with an emphasis in Physical Education at Southwest Minnesota State three years later. He then returned to Belle Fourche High School and began his coaching career.

Currently, Nore is leading the BHSU women’s basketball team through an 8-4 overall record and looks to improve upon last year’s run, which concluded in the second round of the NCAA DII Regional Tournament with a 28-8 record.

As of now, it is still unknown whether BHSU will elect to search for a different replacement for Larson.

About the Contributor
Nathan Feller, Editor-in-Chief