“The decision to leave USD is made with a heavy heart,” Sayler said. “I have grown very fond of (USD) President (James W.) Abbott and his executive team as well as my colleagues in athletics. This is the best decision for our family at this time.”
Sayler said moving back to his home state of Ohio has been a long-term goal, but it became an even higher priority when his wife’s mother passed away recently. Her father, as well as Sayler’s parents, live in Ohio.
“While we hate to see David go, we understand the situation,” Abbott said. “Ohio is home to both David and his wife, Katie, and with the recent death of her mother, they have personal reasons for going back home. We appreciate all David has done in the two-plus years he has been with us.”
Sayler was named USD’s 12th athletic director in June 2010 and oversaw the University’s final stages of transition to NCAA Division I athletics. This includes securing Coyote football’s membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and laying the groundwork on the planning of new facilities for track and field and soccer, and a new arena for basketball and volleyball.
“This is what my wife and I have always planned, and now with the passing of her mother, it becomes a personal decision as well as a career decision,” he said. “It’s not an easy decision to leave but I know that the department is in good hands. Senior Associate A.D. David Herbster will continue the work to make the new arena for basketball and volleyball, and the outdoor track and soccer complex a reality.”
Herbster, who has been with the University of South Dakota since 2007, has been named interim A.D. at USD. He also served as USD’s interim A.D. in 2010 following the resignation of Joel Nielsen, who left Coyote Athletics to become the athletic director at Kent State University.
“We have outstanding coaches, student-athletes and administrative team, and with them we will continue to focus on our mission of excellence,” Herbster stated. “I value President Abbott’s confidence in me and look forward to working with him and our staff as we continue our forward momentum on all levels.”
Herbster has been an associate A.D. at USD since May 2007 after serving as assistant to the chancellor and athletic director at the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 2005-2007. Prior to that, he was A.D. at Concordia University of St. Paul from 2001-2004.
While at UNO, Herbster was responsible for the administration of an NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey program and 14 additional Division II programs, 13 head coaches, 30 assistant coaches, 26 staff members and 360 student-athletes. During his tenure at Nebraska-Omaha, the Mavericks claimed three NCAA Division II National Championships (women’s soccer in 2005, wrestling in 2004-05 and 2005-06).
Herbster received a B.S. in marketing from Virginia Tech In 1991 where he was a member of the Division I Hokies men’s basketball team, including serving as captain in the 1990-91 season. He earned an M.S. in education (sports management) from Virginia Tech in 1994. Herbster has served on various NCAA committees and also has been active in community service. He and his wife, Kelly, have three daughters: Morgan, Kasey and Leah.
Photographs of Sayler and Herbster are available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/David_Sayler2012.jpg and www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/David_Herbster2012.jpg.