Riders Nelson is one win away from state record

Kim Nelson is in his 41st season as a high school football coach. His team's have won 289 games, which ties him with longtime former O'Gorman head coach Steve Kueter for the most in state history.
One more win, and the record is his.

"Yeah I'm proud to be even close to where Steve Kueter has been. You know he's won a lot more championships than I've had. For me to be still coaching is a miracle anyway. I've been lucky to have been at some good schools, we've won a lot of games, we've lost a lot of games," said Nelson.

"Because it's Kim I'm okay with it. Because he's a coach that really deserves to be holding that record, I have a lot respect for kim. The thing about Kim is he really is was an innovator. He was a guy that would usually have the hottest thing that's going on in high school football across the state and would bring it here, and we would try to borrow it or steal it and use it next year," said Kueter.

Most of those wins have come in Sioux Falls at Roosevelt and Washington High School. There was a four-year stint as the head coach in Edina, Minnesota in between.

"My wife and I wanted to come home to Sioux Falls. This where she grew up, and I grew up in Lake Benton, Minnesota which isn't too far away. It was great experience for me, and we just decided our kids were back here, now they're moving up to the Twin Cities. But they were back here at the time, we wanted to be closer to everybody," said Nelson.

While coach Nelson has coached thousands of kids, his most famous is current Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.

"Yeah he was a Rapid City Central. He was my quarterback we ran the wishbone. You know he was a runner. I didn't care if he could kick or not. That shows you how old I am, Adam Vinatieri is the oldest player in the NFL, and we're both still going," Nelson said.

And while he's retired from teaching, he doesn't plan to step away from coaching anytime soon.

"I have no idea right now. I'd like to keep coaching. I don't think it's ever going to be, if I win one more state title I'll quit. I'd like to win ten more state championships, but I've only won one. i don't remember what that was like. I'd like to win one now."

He could break the record on Friday, when Roosevelt hosts Harrisburg.