| Cliff and Jeanne Papik
|| Cliff Papik
The name Cliff Papik has long been synonymous with athletics at Black Hills State University. The former BHSU coach and athletic director’s tenure spanned 30 years. This year he and his wife Jeanne will take on a new title – that of Swarm Day Parade Grand Marshals.
The Papiks will lead the parade on Saturday, Sept. 22 which runs from the Donald E. Young Center to downtown Spearfish. “It is quite an honor,” said Jeanne of her and Cliff’s Grand Marshal titles.
Although he retired from the BHSU faculty more than 30 years ago, Papik remains a Yellow Jacket fan and avid supporter. Jeanne said her husband tries to go to all the games. “It’s been our lives,” she said of the BHSU community.
Papik joined the BHSU faculty in 1948 as athletic director. He served as the school’s athletic director and head of the physical education department for 20 years. In 1949, Papik started the University’s first baseball program and served as head coach. In addition to coaching baseball, Papik served as head football coach, assistant football coach, assistant basketball coach, and golf coach.
As a mentor for BHSU’s baseball program, he promoted baseball as a conference sport in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference with the Yellow Jackets winning the first official SDIC title in 1968. During his 28 years as baseball coach, Papik’s teams compiled a 326-179 record, winning eight conference titles and producing five NAIA All-Americans. He retired in 1978.
In 1980, Papik was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame as a baseball coach. He is also a member of the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame.
In June 1997, BHSU honored Papik’s years of service of promoting athletics by naming its new practice field the Cliff G. Papik Practice Field.
Saturday concludes Swarm week with the parade, the homecoming football game against Colorado Mesa followed by the All-Athletic Reunion.