BHSU grieves loss of former athletic director and coach Clifford Papik

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, July 27, 2015/Categories: 2015

The Black Hills State University community is saddened by the death of Clifford "Cliff" Papik, a respected leader in the history of BHSU athletics who passed away Saturday at the age of 98.

Papik joined the BHSU faculty in 1948, serving 20 years as athletic director and head of the physical education department. He started the University&rsquos first baseball program a year after coming to BHSU and served as head coach. Throughout his 28 years serving as baseball coach, Papik&rsquos teams compiled a 326-179 record, won eight conference titles, and produced five National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Americans.

In addition to coaching baseball, Papik served as head football coach, assistant football coach, assistant basketball coach, and golf coach. He retired in 1978 and continued to enjoy and support BHSU athletics.

Papik was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1980 as a baseball coach and is a member of the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame. BHSU honored Papik and his years of service in promoting BHSU athletics by naming a new practice field the Cliff G. Papik Practice Field in 1997. In 2012 Papik and his wife, Jeanne, served as BHSU Swarm Day Parade Grand Marshals.

Papik is survived by his wife of almost 75 years, Jeanne Papik of Spearfish brother, James Stanage of Rapid City and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 6-7 p.m. Thursday July 30 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Spearfish with the Vigil following at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 30 at the church. Internment will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis with full military honors provided by the US Air Force and the Spearfish Honor Guard.

After his retirement he and Jeanne traveled throughout the US pursing their favorite sports of golf and fly fishing. His obituary notes that Papik relished the opportunity to work with student athletes during his teaching career and he was forever grateful to be a part of student&rsquos lives.

Read Cliff Papik&rsquos obituary

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