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Dirksen To Receive Dan Lennon Award



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VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota track and field will present Jay Dirksen of Madison, S.D., with the 2013 Dan Lennon Award at the Dan Lennon Invitational. The 24th winner of the award, Dirksen will receive it on March 25 at 3:55 p.m. in the DakotaDome.

Dirksen coached college track for 42 years, ending his career in 2011.  He was a coach for two NCAA Championship teams (South Dakota State - 1973 D-II Cross Country, Nebraska - 1984 D-I Women’s Track and Field) and won several NCC, Big 10, Big 8 and Big 12 conference championships.

Dirksen started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for South Dakota State in 1968 and became SDSU’s head coach for men’s cross country and track and field one year later.  He also started SDSU’s women’s cross country program in 1975 before becoming an assistant track coach at Illinois in 1977.

After five seasons at Illinois, Dirksen became the head women’s track and field coach at Missouri in 1982, then moved to Nebraska to become the head cross country coach and an assistant women’s track coach in 1984.  He coached Ann Gaffigan, who set the U.S.’s women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record in 2004, and earned the Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence in 1994.

Jay and his wife, Diane, currently live in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.  They have a son, Derek, and a daughter, Kristi.

Courtesy: USD Sports Information
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