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Professor Emeritus, Coach Virgil Sandvig Dies at 87

Long-time Augustana faculty member and coach Virgil Sandvig, class of 1949, died on Sunday, Feb. 19. He was 87.

After graduating from Washington High School in 1943, Sandvig enlisted in the U.S Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific during World War II on the USS Enterprise.

After graduating from Augustana in 1949, he worked as a coach and educator at Dell Rapids High School. He later served as athletic director and head football coach for Yankton College.

He joined Augustana as an assistant football coach in 1960. He would spend the next 30 years at the College, teaching geography and serving in a variety of coaching positions. Prior to his retirement in 1990, he served as athletic director. He received a master’s degree in Physical Education at the University of Minnesota and was awarded the first master’s degree in Geography from South Dakota State University.

Nicknamed “Rat’s Nest” Sandvig, his life revolved around his family and the greater Augustana community of friends and co-workers. He always looked forward to his annual fishing trip with the SXS Chapter of the Natural Philosophy and Literary Society. He spent numerous summers at his cabin in the Black Hills and golfed at Tomahawk Country Club where he was a member for many years.

He served on many committees, including the Sioux Falls Planning Commission, Dakota Relays Committee, the Center for Western Studies, and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. He was preceded in death by his parents, his three brothers (Spencer, Kenneth, and Raymond), and his wife, Janet. He is survived by his three children, Scott (Sandy) Sandvig, Stacey (Michael “No-Good”) Sanders, Anne Sandvig (Lonnie Hosman), and six grandchildren Jamie (Bridget) Jackson, Anne Marie Sanders, Aaron (Becca) Sanders, Nathan Sanders, Samuel Hosman, Allison Hosman, and three great-grandchildren, Koby, Kyah, and Kate Jackson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Janet Sandvig Memorial Scholarship at Augustana College.

Graveside rites will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, at Hills of Rest Memorial Park with a memorial service to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Augustana's Chapel of Reconciliation.