Coston enthusiastic about athletics
Dickinson State football coach Hank Biesiot was walking a recruit through the upper level hallway of the Badlands Activities Center when he caught the eye of DSU President D.C. Coston, who happened to be watching a track and field meet in the stadium's control room.
As Biesiot walked the recruit and his parents past the room, Coston quickly turned his attention away from the meet and toward the visitors.
"I'm trying to have face-to-face contact with young men and women and their parents, and have had the chance with a number of prospective athletes and assuring them that this institution here is a good institution," Coston said April 20 during an interview with The Dickinson Press.
Coston was hired as DSU's acting president shortly before the 2012-13 school year following the North Dakota University System firing of former university president Richard McCallum.
In January, Coston was appointed as DSU's acting president.
It's been a difficult road for him since then. An enrollment scandal was but one of the events that rocked the university and made national news in February.
Yet through all the trying times, Coston has never wavered in his support of Blue Hawk athletics.
He makes a point to attend all of DSU's home sporting events and has taken a genuine interest in Blue Hawk teams.
Now, he said, it's time to explore what it will take to improve DSU's athletic programs as the school transitions into the Frontier Conference.
"I enjoy collegiate athletics. I always have," Coston said. "Regardless of where I've been, all the way from being a student to the present, I try to get to as many events as I can just because of enjoying the competition.
"I've also had the opportunity to witness, at a number of places, the visibility that athletics can create for the institution, as far as bringing a number of people to the institution. Hopefully we can find ways to showcase the rest of the university, using athletics as kind of a door opener with a number of people."
To do that though, Coston knows DSU has to step up its funding toward athletics.
The university will rank last in the Frontier in the average amount of scholarship dollars awarded to student-athletes when it officially becomes a member of the league July 1.
For Blue Hawk athletics to be successful in the future, however, Coston said the university must rely heavily on booster donations and corporate sponsorship. Travel expenses will also be increasing because of the move to the Frontier.
Coston is optimistic about the direction of DSU athletics though.
"I think that there is a lot of optimism, a lot of promise," Coston said. "The conversations are under way. We probably won't be fully there one year. It is something that can grow. But, the sentiment I get is that people are committed to get there. The move to the Frontier is providing us an opportunity to have some great conversations. The boosters are expressing great support."