If you've lived in the upper Midwest for years and years, you're familiar with the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. If you were (are?) an athlete, there's a pretty good chance you competed at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. And if you're new to the area (welcome!), the Howard Wood Dakota Relays is something you'll become very familiar with.

It's a huge annual event held at, well...Howard Wood Field here in Sioux Falls. The name has become almost a kind of 'Generic', kind of like Coke or Kleenex. You just automatically say it without even a thought.

The Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

But hold on. Just who was this Howard Wood?

Well, he was really somethin' is what he was.

Actually born in Canada, Wood left his mark on sports in Sioux Falls, in South Dakota and across our part of this great country. He built a sports dynasty at Washington High School here in Sioux Falls beginning in 1908. He passed away in 1949 at the age of 65 and by then had become the most famous high school coach in the Midwest.

Oh, and he pretty much coached it all, a head coach in three sports as well as being Athletic Director (these days it's called 'multi-tasking', back then it was called 'busy and loving it').

If you want the complete story on this sports icon you can visit the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame website. And the next time you drive past (or into) Howard Wood Field you can tell your kids just who and why this field is named after a guy named Howard Wood.

Howard Wood Field


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