With a little more than two months to go before the start of the 2013-14 season, the University of South Dakota is in the market for a new head men’s basketball coach, after the surprise resignation of David Boots late Tuesday.

Boots, 57, is the all-time winningest coach in Coyote history, posting a 503-235 (.681) over the last 25 years.

Under his leadership, the Coyotes had 23 consecutive winning seasons, until the past two seasons, the first two in the Summit League, when USD won just 10 games each year.

He coached his teams to 10 NCAA Division II tournaments, six North Central Conference championships and back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 1993 and 1994.  The Coyotes also won the Great West Championship, in Division I in 2010.

In a USD press release, Boots said:

For the past 25 years, I have enjoyed leading the Coyote basketball program.

The time has come for a new face and new voice to now lead. Peggy and I want to thank everyone who supported us and made our experience so enjoyable.

USD was truly a special place for our family.

I would like to thank all of the assistant coaches that worked with me over the years and a special thanks to Coach (Joey) James and Coach (Chris) Kassin for their many years of commitment and loyalty.

They made my job easy.

To all of the former players, I will forever cherish the opportunity I had to be a part of your lives.

What great memories I will carry with me.

To the current team members, I wish you the very best. You deserve success and I will be watching closely as you accomplish great things.

And to all the fans, alumni and friends, I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be part of a very special place.

Boots began his head coaching career at Anoka Ramsey Community College in 1981, then moving to his alma mater, Augsburg College in 1982, before arriving in Vermillion on 1988.

His career record is 618-298 in 32 seasons. His 603 wins in Division II is good for 14th all-time.  He was named Coach of the Year seven times in his career.

No word yet on a timetable for his replacement, but USD Athletic Director David Herbster said in a press release:

Today, I accepted the decision of Coach Dave Boots to retire and step down as head basketball coach at the University of South Dakota.

I appreciate everything that Dave Boots has done for USD, Coyote athletics and our basketball program.

Timing is never ideal and I know he didn’t reach this decision without careful thought and consideration.

Coach Boots has left an impact on basketball in the state of South Dakota, and his 25 years of service to the game here on this campus has left the foundation of an incredibly strong program.

The Coyotes begin the 2013-14 season November 14th at the Global Sports Showcase in Laramie, Wyoming.