Don Jacobsen, named the South Dakota College Athlete of the Decade for the 1960s by the Rapid City Journal, became the 25th member of the Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame during Hobo Day ceremonies
in 1989. Jacobsen earned first-team Little All-America honors for South Dakota State in 1961 when he led the Jacks to a third-place finish at the NCAA College Division basketball tournament.
"Jake" was named Outstanding Player at the national tournament that year despite the fact that SDSU did not advance to the championship game. Jacobsen is one of six SDSU players to earn all-North Central Conference honors in basketball three times (1959-60-61), earning the league's Most Valuable Player award in 1961.
Jacobsen left SDSU holding many Jackrabbit scoring records, including career scoring, 1,488 points. That's still the fourth best total in SDSU history. He set the record for most points scored in a single season, 638 in 1961, and his per game average of 23.6 points set that year is also still a record as is his career scoring average of 19.8 (for 75 games).
In the 1961 NCAA playoffs, Jacobsen hit 22-of-28 free throws in a game against Prairie View A&M, still a school record for most free throws in a single game. That was also an NCAA Division II playoff record (since broken) and he still holds the record for most free throws made in a championship series, 55. He also still holds the SDSU records for most free throws in game (22), season (236) and career 523).
During his three years of varsity competition (freshmen were not eligible), the 6-2 Jacobsen led SDSU to a 55-20 overall record including 31-5 in North Central Conference play as the Jackrabbits won three straight league championships. A standout at Class B Lake Norden High School, Jacobsen scored 2,647 career points before graduating in 1957.
He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education at SDSU in 1961, then added a master's degree in 1962. He coached at Winner High School, then served in the military before returning to SDSU as assistant basketball coach. He was later head coach at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Jacobsen was voted into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.