Grand Marshals of the Year 2013: Dave and Barbara Kragthorpe
Dave and Barbara Kragthorpe have been supporters of Utah State University since meeting there as students. After marrying in 1958, Dave and Barbara began giving back to USU in 1959 through the Buck-of-the-Month Club, the precursor to the Big Blue Scholarship Fund. And while their lives have taken them to various places throughout the country, the Kragthorpes continually supported Utah State. They are members of USU's Old Main Society, President's Touchdown Club and the Merlin Olsen Fund. They are also lifetime members of the USU Alumni Association and have financially supported the Alumni Association at the Legacy Level.
While at USU, Dave lettered in football and baseball. He was twice named to the All-Skyline Conference team and selected for USU's All-Century Team. He received both his bachelor's in 1955 and a master's, in school administration, in 1963, from USU.
Barbara attended USU from 1956-1958. While at USU, Barbara was an officer in Associated Women Students and Women's Intramural Association, co-chaired the Winter Carnival and was on the USU yearbook Buzzer staff. Barbara was also a Chi Omega. She later went on to earn a bachelor's from the University of Montana in 1967 and a master's in educational psychology from BYU in 1972. She was a high school counselor for 17 years.
Dave began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Montana in 1964 and became head football coach at South Dakota State in 1969. He then served as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at BYU. Later he became head coach for the Idaho State University Bengals in 1980. In 1981 the Bengals won the Big Sky Conference and Division 1-AA National Championship. In 1983, Dave stepped away from the sidelines to become athletic director at USU. After two years, he returned to coaching at Oregon State University and was honored as PAC-10 Coach of the Year in 1989. In 1994, Dave was hired by the USU Alumni Association to help revive the university's alumni chapters program.
Dave has been recognized several times for his achievements and has been inducted into the USU Athletic Hall of Fame, Idaho State University Hall of Fame and has been honored by the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honored Dave for his outstanding contributions to amateur football. Dave currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Board for Aggie Athletics.
Dave and Barbara have two sons, Kurt, a USU graduate, and Steve. Kurt is a prominent sportswriter for the Salt Lake Tribune, while Steve is a college football coach at Louisiana State University. Dave and Barbara have three grandsons, Chris, Brad and Nik, all currently at LSU.