A native of Hawarden, Iowa. He competed in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University playing four years of football and co-captain his senior year. He earned a masters degree and educational specialist’s degree from Drake University. He taught and coached at Cardinal of Elden and Laurens, an administrator at Titonka, Scranton, Jefferson-Scranton, and Ogden serving as superintendent until retirement in 2000. Ray officiated football, volleyball, basketball, track baseball, and softball. He currently serves as a student teaching supervisor for Iowa State University, part-time principal for Sacred Heart School of Boone and a part of a team working for Tryon and Associates conducting superintendent searches for school districts. Ray has officiated at the Drake Relays, Jim Duncan Relays, Big Eight conference Meets, Big 12 Conference Meets, National Junior Olympics, The Iowa Games, State and local Hershey Meets, NCAA Division I National Cross Country Championship, and numerous high school and college meets. He has served on the executive board of the Iowa Athletic Directors Association and on the Iowa Secondary Principals State Association Board of Directors. Even though Ray is a registered track official, you won’t see him firing a gum at most of these meets. He is one of those unsung heroes who compose the backbone of every successful track and field or cross country meet as an assistant starter, head finish judge, lap counter, umpire, marshal, timer and picker. He brings a solid knowledge of the rules and an extremely professional demeanor to every meet he works and in what ever capacity he works. Ray has over Forty years of service to Track and Field.
Travis Geopfert – NEW 2016 Inductee!
When an individual has climbed the proverbial ladder of success, to heights most of us can only dream about, and they can recall every step along the way and who has been there to help and guide them, it speaks highly of their character and of the passion they have for what they do.
Travis Geopfert grew up in Panora, Iowa population 1,100. He was a 2 sport star. A first team All State linebacker in football, and a seven time state champion in track and field. Lucky for us track geeks, his love for our sport won out.
Thank goodness his Grandparents took him to his first Drake Relays in 1985. Thank goodness Mrs. Fitzgerald let him long jump at the elementary track meet, because he eclipsed the mark held by Panora Olympian and fellow hall of famer, Kip Janvrin by 5”. Thank goodness Mr. Locke and Mr. Lane made junior high track so fun that he just couldn’t get enough of it. Thank goodness his parents Gary and Theresa drove him and his brother Tyler to track meets all around the country. It was this love and support as a youngster that got Travis primed to compete for Papa J, Hall of Fame coach Ken Janvrin at Panorama High School and whom Travis calls one of the greatest coaches of all time.
Travis Geopfert is quick to point out that none of his great experiences would have come without great teammates and great coaches at all levels, the Panorama school system and supportive community.
What Travis Geopfert has accomplished in track and field before the age of 40 is beyond impressive
- 15 X state meet qualifier and 15X state meet finalist
- Anchored 3 state champion relay teams in 1997, including the 4×400 with meet on the line, to lead Papa J to his first state team title.
- 7x state champion
- 12X Drake Relays qualifier
- All American at UNI
- 3X MVC Champion
- 4X Member of USA National team in the decathlon
- 2X Drake Relays decathlon champion
- 2X MVC Head Coach of the Year
- He is a 2 time D1 Regional and 1 time D1 National Assistant Coach of the Year
- He has been the USA’s head coach the US vs Germany Thorpe Cup Decathlon Competition
He coached at Central Missouri and UNI before landing in Arkansas with fellow UNI staff members and mentors, Chris Bucknam and Doug Case.
At Arkansas, Travis is the recruiting coordinator and field events and multi events coach for the Razorback men.
In 13 seasons of coaching at the collegiate level, Travis has coached 10 NCAA champions, 67 1st team All Americans, 121 NCAA national qualifiers, 69 conference champions, 132 all conference performances, 4 Olympians and 3 World Championship qualifiers.
In 2016 alone, Travis coached US Olympian and 5X NCAA champion Jarrion Lawson. Lawson became the first athlete since Jesse Owens to win 3 NCAA titles in the same meet. Lawson has the 8th best long jump mark in US history and the best mark in the world in the last 10 years.
He coached SEC and NCAA champion Clive Pullen to be the first Jamaican Olympic Triple Jumper in 44 years.
And he helped coach Drake Relays champion Omar McLeod to a gold medal in Rio in the 110 meter high hurdles.
As impressive as his track and field resume’ is, Travis will tell you that his family, is by far, his greatest accomplishment. He and his wife Nicole have been married nearly 14 years and have 3 beautiful kids, Jones, Jax and Ellyn. All 3 were adopted on the very day they were born.
Travis thrives on pressure. He knows he is not perfect in anyway, but continues to work daily to become a better father, husband and coach.
He knows to be the best he must: “Focus on the process, play to win, and gravitate toward excellence, not mediocrity.”
Four Time State Champion in the 880 yd run 1931-1934 An amazing record of athletic superiority that began with a 200-yard sprint to victory in 1931 was climaxed in 1934 when John Graves, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Graves, won the state high school half mile run for the fourth straight year. Graves an eighth grader in 1931 entered the state high school meet unknown. After being boxed most of the race, the Cherokee youth suddenly uncorked a tremendous sprint in the last 200 yards and came from far behind to break the tape in 2:01.7. Since that feat, Graves has shot rapidly into state and national prominence. Besides capturing the district and state half-mile titles for four straight years, he was second in the national interscholastic meet at Chicago in 1932 and won one section of the half mile at the same meet in 1933 and 1934. Also in 1933 while winning the state meet for the third time, he set the state record at 1:56.5. This time still stands as the schools’ best time at this distance. His record converts to a1:55.8 for today’s 800 meter run. Because he ran as an eighth grader he was not able to compete during his senior year, but did run several exhibition races during that year’s track season.
Ray was born in Washington, Kansas on April 29, 1939. He was raised in Fairbury, Nebraska and graduated from high school in 1957. He participated in many activities in high school. He was co-captain of the Football team, a two state Tennis Champion and lettered in baseball and basketball as well. After graduation from high school, Ray enrolled at Fairbury Junior College were he played quarterback and served as the 1958 co-captain of the football team, which made the National Junior College play-offs. He received All-American honors as a Quarterback. Ray also played in the National Junior College tournament in 1958 and was a javelin thrower in track. He continued his football career at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska were he was also the co-captain of the football team. He graduated from Doane with a BA degree in secondary education in 1961. Ray began his teaching career in Falls City, Nebraska, in 1957. He taught at Falls City until 1967.
During his time at Falls City he served as a football, basketball and track & field coach while teaching Social Studies. He moved to Shenandoah in 1967 until 1999. Ray served as the head football, head baseball, and head track coach during this time. He also served as an assistant basketball and baseball coach as well. From 1999 to 2002, Ray worked as an assistant coach at the Clarinda Academy in Clarinda, IA.
He is now serving as a volunteer coach in track & field at Shenandoah. Here is a synopsis of Ray’s outstanding career accomplishments. Ray was a National Coach of the Year finalist for Cross Country in 2000. He has been selected State Coach of the Year five times in Cross Country, and Regional Coach of the Year three times in Track and Field and several times in Cross Country. Ray has served as the Drake relays High School Referee and served on the IHSAA Track & Field Advisory Board. He was also a nominee for National Coach of the year in 1993. He received the Pride Award from KMA Radio in 1997. Ray has coached five State Championship teams in Cross Country as well as fifteen total appearances at the State Cross Country Meet. He has had two individual State Champions including another of our inductees for the Hall of Fame Wally Duffy and two individual runner-ups. His teams have won five district titles and came within two points of having a perfect score twice placing all seven of his runners in the top ten individuals. His teams won 10 conference championships with nine individual conference champions as well. His teams have won 43 major meets during his 32 year tenure at Shenandoah and he has had eight individual All-State performers. In track, Ray’s achievements are as impressive. He has had 5 teams finish in the top ten, with his 1979 squad finishing as the State Runner-up. Ray also has coached two district championship teams and been the district runner-up four times. His teams have finished in 4th place or higher 17 out of the twenty-two years he served as the head coach. He also won one conference title and his teams finished in the top four sixteen times in the Hawkeye 10 Conference Meet. Ray has coached seven individual champions and has had two relay teams win state titles. Ray has been married to his wife Kathleen for 42 years. They have two children, Jeff and Jodie.
Kerry Greenwood (Knepper)
Kerry was one of the reasons Cascade High School was a dominate force in Track & Field and Cross Country during the 80’s. Kerry was the first girl in Iowa Track & Field history to win three individual Cross Country Titles – accomplishing this in the fall of 1983-84-85, which helped her team win three 2A State Championships. In her first State competition she placed 4th. In the spring she competed in Track & Field and was very successful as well. At the State Meet she placed 4th in the 800 her Freshman year, 2nd in the 1500 her sophomore and Junior year and was the state champion her Senior year in the 1500 and 3000, with her best times in these events 4:46 –
 and 10:29 –  in an area of very few all weather surfaces. Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) was the choice of Kerry to complete her education and continue her Cross Country and Track & Field participation, and participate she did very well. In Cross Country she was a 4 time NCAA Division II National Championships Qualifier (first at her school to accomplish this). Kerry was a 2 time Division II All-American placing 19th her Sophomore year and 4th her Junior year, which was the highest finish ever by a female athlete at her school. Kerry’s accomplishments during Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field were as good as those in Cross Country. Her accomplishments include:
- Holder of 11 Northeast Missouri State University School Records (7 individual and 4 relay).
- Winner of 12 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Titles (10 individual and 2 relay).
- Five time NCAA Division II National Championships Qualifier (3 indoor and 2 outdoor).
- Four time Division II All-American (2 at 3000 indoors and 2 at 10,000 outdoors).
- One time Division I National Championship Qualifier her Senior year placing 10th in the 10,000 in a time of 34:28.6.
Over-all Kerry was a 6 time Division II All-American (2 times in Cross Country, 2 times in Indoor Track & Field, and 2 times in Outdoor Track & field. Running Kept Kerry very busy in school, however her academics were very important to her, important enough for her to be selected to the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association All-Academic Team 4 times. Kerry is now married to Paul Knepper and currently lives in Martelle, Iowa. She is employed at Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion as its Assistant Director.
Robert V. Guhin
Robert Guhin graduated from Central High School in Aberdeen, South Dakota and from Northern State College of Aberdeen. He received his masters degree from Northern Colorado in Greely. He received the Northern State College Hall of Fame award in 1977. He has coached teams and individuals that: won state championship in one-mile team race in 1970 – district champions 6 times – Sioux City champions numerous times – Drake Relays champions in the high hurdles, shot-discus, pole vault, medley, 4×400, 4×800 – State Meet champions in 400, 800, 1600, high hurdles, medley, 4×400, 4×800, pole vault, shot-discus, high jump. He has coached track at East High School for 33 years and started their cross country program in 1964.
Richard Hall’s track and field experience goes back to high school participation while attending Sidney High School from where he graduated in 1952. He broke the county record for the mile run three times as well as qualifying for the state meet three consecutive years. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1968 with a degree in Civil Engineering, maintaining status as a registered professional since that time. He retired from the USDA, Soil Conservation Service after a 40 year career. He continues to work part time with the DNR conducting safety stability inspections on earth fill dams.
Richard has been a registered official with the IHSAA and IGHSAU since 1976, recognized for dedicated service by the IHSAA in 1996 and by the IATC in 2004. He was inducted into the Sidney High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He has officiated 333 regular season high school and middle school track and field meets, plus officiating 19 district/regional meets, some of which were in South Dakota. He has been an official for the Sioux City Relays for 24 years, and continues to be an active official in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Richard is also a veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1960.
Steve Halligan was born on September 21, 1945, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. He is the son of Francis and Wilda Halligan. Steve has a sister Connie and a brother Ronnie. He was raised in Fort Dodge. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1963. He lettered in baseball and track & field at Ft. Dodge High School. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Health and Physical Education in 1968. He earned a Master Degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from the University of South Dakota in 1972.
Steve began his teaching and coaching career in 1968 and taught and coached at West Sioux High School in Hawarden, Iowa for 35 years. His duties included coaching a variety of sports that included basketball, baseball, track & field, cross country and even a one-night of wrestling as a substitute coach. During this time he served as the head men’s basketball coach at Sioux Empire Junior College from 1972 to 1981, winning 204 games and coaching the North team in the North/South All-star game.
Steve success in Cross Country and Track and Field is outstanding. During his tenure at West Sioux High School, Steve had one of the best programs in Northwest Iowa. His track & field teams won over 100 invitational titles including one conference title. He had four individual state champions including his daughter Kathy and son Dennis. His real success came in Cross Country where his teams were perennial state participants climaxing in the 1999 Class 1-A Boys State Championship. His teams won five Class 1-A Boys District titles and two Class 1-A Girls Regional titles. Steve’s teams claimed seven boys and three girls’ conference titles.
He has had the pleasure of coaching all four of his children in state competitions. Kathy and Dennis were State Individual Cross Country Champions. Steve has won many honors during his career and here are a few. He was selected State Coach of the Year for Class 1-A in 1999 for Cross Country. Thirteen times he was selected regional cross country coach of the year.
He has been a clinic speaker at the IATC Distance Running Clinic. Steve was the High School Boy’s Referee of the Drake Relays in 2003. He was nominated for the National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003. Steve has contributed to both cross country and track in other ways than just coaching. He is still active as a meet official, working the Drake relays, and the State Cross Country Meet. He developed the archaic coding system of track & field markings that the IATO has made into a very efficient model. He has served a meet official for the Great Plains Athletic Conference Track & Field Meets. He was the voice of Northwest Iowa Teams for the rankings in the Sioux City Journal for Cross Country. He received the 25 year award from the IATC. He received a 34 years of Service award from the IATO.
Since his retirement Steve and his wife have moved to Sugar Land, Texas, where he is the General Manager and Voyager Director for the Houtonian Lite Health Club. He also is a charter member of the Board of Directors of Shape Up Sugar Land. Steve and his wife Julie have been married 41 years and have four children and six grandchildren. Their children are Christopher and his wife Jill who are both Chiropractors in Melrose Massachusetts and the parents of daughters Kelly and Chloe. Kathy, who is a teacher and coach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dennis and his wife Nancy live in Maple Grove, Minnesota and a re parents of sons Tyler and Zachary. Kenny and his wife Jill are educators in Sugar Land, Texas and are parents of son Katcher and daughter Adley.
Kristin Hansen (Dennis)
Most high school cross country or track and field athletes dream of qualifying to the state championship meet. Of those who qualify, most only dream of winning a medal. Of those who win a medal, most only dream of winning gold.
Well, Kristin Hansen, while at Okoboji high school, qualified for the state championship meet in both cross country and track and field a total of 16 times. Kristin Hansen Dennis won her share of medals, most of which were gold. Before graduating in 2002, she qualified to state cross country four times, winning 3 state titles. She qualified to state track 12 times, 4 each in the 800, 1500 and 3000 and won 10 state titles. Four of those gold medals came in the 3000. In her 16 state meet races she finished in the top four all 16 times. Fifteen times she was 1st or 2nd and thirteen times she came away as the champion.
Kristin Hansen credits her high school coach Rod Lockey and Okoboji boys’ team member Brad Peter for pushing her and encouraging her to reach for the stars and to get the most out of her ability. Kristin is very strong in her faith and had a great support group in her parents and grandparents who attended all of her meets to cheer for her and her teammates. This faith and support were key ingredients to the formula that led to her greatest accomplishment which was setting over 100 meet records during her career at Okoboji. After graduation, Kristin took her talents to the University of Missouri at Columbia. There she became a Big 12 champion on the Tigers Distance Medley relay, a 7 time All Big 12 selection, a two time regional qualifier in track and a two time national’s qualifier in cross country. Off the track she made the Big 12 Commissioners Honor Roll 10 times, was an 8 time selection to the Academic All Big 12 team before graduating in 2007 and becoming a registered dietitian.
Melanie Heitman was involved in all activities in Williamsburg High School during the years of 1977-79. Even though she received conference and state recognition as a basketball player, she excelled in track and field. Her high school accomplishments included:
- 4 times state discus champion. – best – 150’1″.
- Drake Relays Discus champion which was an open event – 1979, 1st girl high school athlete to win this.
- State Shot Put and Softball Throw champion in 1978.
- Iowa AAU Outstanding Track and Field athlete in 1978 and 1979.
- Threw the javelin in the Junior Olympics – 149′.
- Inducted into the Iowa Girls’ High School Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1982.
Iowa State was Melanie’s choice to attend college and participate in track and field where she did very well as her credentials indicate:
- 4 year letter winner.
- Drake Relays Javelin champion – 1980.
- Placed 6th at the Nationals in the javelin in 1982.
- Arkansas Relays Discus and Javelin champion.
- All Big 8 Athlete for 4 years.
- Placed in the discus and javelin at each Big 8 meet her four years of participation.
- Female Track and Field All-American in 1982.
- Big “8” female scholar/athlete representative for Iowa State University in 1983.
- Still holds the javelin record at ISU – 154’9″ and her discus throw of 150’9″ is second best.
- Nominee for outstanding Senior Physical Education Major in 1983.
For 9 years Melanie was a high school physical education and health teacher at Fulton, Missouri. During her stay at Fulton, she coached various sports, served as sponsor for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, initiated the YMCA youth volleyball program, chairperson of volleyball coaches to recognize volleyball as a conference sport, was a presenter at the Northeast Missouri Track and Field clinic on “Discus Techniques and Training Methods” and in 1991 she received her masters degree in sport management from the United States Sports Academy. Since July 1, 1992 Melanie was hired as the assistant commissioner of the North Central Intercollegiate Conference where her responsibilities are to direct the championship events and special awards. Melanie stated that she has run the spectrum of athletes from athlete to coach and now to administrator and continues to be a good setter.
He has gone from being a high school pole vaulter, to a college triple jumper, to one of the most successful Girls track coaches in Iowa high school history. Not to mention a pretty darn good Cross Country coach as well.
Bruce Henderson graduated from Mt. Ayr high school in 1966. While there he competed in football, basketball, track, golf and baseball; qualifying for the state meet as a pole vaulter in 1965 and the Drake Relays in the vault in 1966. He then moved on to UNI where he lettered twice in the triple jump before graduating in 1970.
He started teaching at Atlantic in 1970 then was drafted into the Army. After his stint in the military it was back to Atlantic in 1973.
Bruce began his career as head girls track coach in 1974 and the stats he and his squads have assembled are impressive to say the least. Sixteen times they have finished in the Top 4 at the state meet; 7 times bringing home the first place trophy. Three times they were 2nd, three times they were 3rd and they were 4th four times. They have won 18 regional titles, 22 Hawkeye-10 crowns and have been the winner of 203 invitationals.
Under his guidance, Henderson coached athletes have won 27 individual state titles, 17 state relay championships and 8 Drake Relay gold’s.
Bruce has been at the helm of both the boys and girls cross country programs since 1983.
In that time he has had 29 qualifying teams, 4 of which finished in the top 7; 5 top 10 state individual finishers; 9 district or regional team champions; 11 Hawkeye-10 team titles and 103 other meet titles.
Bruce’s leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed among his peers. He has held the offices of Vice President and President of the IATC. He was selected as National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Coaches in 2002. And was a national finalist in 1998 and 2003. He has been an IATC regional coach of the year for Track and/or Cross Country 21 times and has been an IATC state coach of the year 5 times.
Bruce has been very involved with the IATC Senior All Star track and field meet and has been on the coaching staff 3 different times in his career and served on the girls track advisory board for 6 years. He has been the high school referee at the Drake Relays and has been selected as the Southwest Iowa Coach of the year out of all coaches, of all sports of 45 different schools.
Bruce and Gail, his wife of 39 years, have 3 sons, Scott wife Beth, Todd and Brad and wife Michelle.
Michael “Mike” Henderson
Mike Henderson was born in Peoria, Illinois where he attended Coin High School (now in the South Page system). There he earned 11 varsity letters while competing in 6-8 man football, basketball, and track. From high school Mike attended Iowa State University where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Journalism and Animal Science. He was the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Individual champion his junior year which shows he has always had the ability to pick and rank whether it is cattle or sports teams.
While in college he served as Sports Editor of the Iowa State Daily, was Student Assistant Sports Information Director for ISU, was ISU correspondent for the Associated Press for 4 years. Following graduation, Mike has held various positions: Editor of the Duroc News in Peoria, Illinois; Farm Manager and Export Director of Bill Rite farm in Happy, Texas; Assistant Sports Information Director at Drake University; Information Director IGHSAU from 1973 to the present. Other areas where Mike has contributed to track and field in Iowa are:
- Statistician for Drake Relays since a student at Iowa State – 1994 was his 30th year.
- Results coordinator for seven outdoor CAA Championship Track and Field meets, Twelve Missouri Valley Conference indoor meets, four Missouri Valley Conference outdoor meets; four Big Eight Conference outdoor meets; twenty-two State Boys’ outdoor track meets in addition to the Girls’ State Meets.
He has also worked the State Indoor Boys’ meet at Iowa City and the State Federation Indoor and Outdoor at Drake. He served on the games committee for the first-ever National Collegiate Women’s cross country meet at Iowa State in 1974.
Mike trained three Sports Information Directors who have served United States Track and Field as Chief Press Officers for international competition. Maybe you recognize the names of Steve Hellyer, first-ever Goodwill Games; Tome Kroeschell, World Championships in Japan; Mike Mahon, Pan-American Games in Cuba.
Mike was appointed by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee as Head Press Officer for the graveyard shift from 10 pm until morning – he turned this down as it conflicted with the State Softball Tournament. Honors Mike has received include:
- Iowa Athletic Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award in 1985.
- National Athletic Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award in 1991.
- National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Contributor Service Award.
- Iowa High School Swimming Coaches Association Service Award.
- Drake Relays 25 year Service Award, 1988. 6. Drake Relays Media Award, 1994.
Mike has been a “Track-Nut” since day one. His father and uncles competed at Iowa State and his dad, Jim, was also a Drake Relays’ statistician. In grade school, Mike used crayolas and dice for “play” track meets complete with scoring and he would organize neighborhood meets using window screens for hurdles, bricks for shot puts, dinner plates for discus, and brooms for the javelin. Mike’s family consists of his father who passed away in 1971; his mother, the biggest track fan living in Coin; brother Joe who lives in Eugene Oregon and has written 20 books on distance running; a sister Anne, city Editor of Omaha World-Herald; and sister Emily, a social worker for the University of Iowa Hospitals. When you want results everyone calls the Girls’ Union and talks to the Human Computer, Mike Henderson.
George Hicks graduated from Iowa State Teachers College–now Northern Iowa University; he then came to Cherokee in 1927 as athletic director and coach in all sports. He coached for nine years and has the distinction of being the coach of Cherokee’s first Lakes Conference championship (basketball in 1936.) Hicks served as the mayor of Cherokee from 1939 to 1950, then was selected to the Cherokee Board of Education. While serving on the board in the early 50’s, Hicks was one of several individuals instrumental in planning and erecting the then new Washington High School complex, which included a superb new athletic field and stadium plus a spacious gymnasium-auditorium. The athletic field was named George Hicks Field in 1972 in his honor for all he contributed to Cherokee athletics. Hicks was the official starter at the Iowa State High School Classic in Ames for more than 20 years. A conservative estimate would have him starting more than 400 track carnivals in his tenure as a track official. This would include Cherokee’s own Tomahawk Relays, which was long known as “Northwest Iowa’s Track Classic.” Even today, the 4 X 800 relay at Tomahawk is run as the George Hicks 4 X 800 with a handsome traveling trophy being presented to the four winning participants by the Queen of the Relays.
A tribute written in the Cherokee Daily Times after his sudden death in 1971 quoted him sharing a conversation with the editor of the paper.
“…Some people say we have a bad generation coming up. I don’t believe that for a minute. They’re good kids. Better than we were, that’s for sure. If a few of them act up, maybe we’d better take a long look at ourselves and our attitudes and examples and lay the blame where it belongs.”
Standing at the corner, his forehead wrinkled in thought, his usual mirthful eyes serious now, dead serious, he said, “You know, I like kids. They’re wonderful. Just think of what they could do if we would give them more chances. Just think…”
Randy Hinkel (NEW 2016 Inductee)
The passion and persistence displayed by Randy Hinkel came to define the town and school where he coached.
Randy Hinkel, the driving force behind Madrid’s dominance in football and track for nearly three decades, passed away unexpectedly, just less than a year ago at the age of 58.
He was the Head Coach of 5 state track and field championship teams, 4 state runner up teams and 27 event state champions in his 25 years as Madrid’s head coach.
Randy also led the Madrid Tigers football team to a record of 264-58 over 29 seasons. He averaged 9 wins per year, took the Tigers to the postseason 25 times, was a state runner-up 7 times and won it all in 1991. His overall coaching record was 314-80.
Randy Hinkel attended West Harrison High School and Morningside College before starting his coaching career at Lohrville High School in 1980.
This quote came from fellow IATC Hall of Fame member, Bud Legg, “Randy Hinkel was always a gentleman on the field, just a really great person. He’s going to be missed from the high school scene.” Madrid Superintendent Brian Horn said, “He represented everything Madrid. His work ethic. His care. His commitment to kids, and his commitment to excellence.” “He was the entire package.”
I had the opportunity to visit with Madrid six time state track and field champion Nick Efkamp, who said, “I remember my senior year at state track I was so nervous for the 400 hurdles because it was my last time running them in the orange and black, and I wanted to go out with a bang. As I was getting up from the bleachers, Randy said, “Nick, go out and attack the first hurdle and have some fun.” He didn’t just want us to think about winning or placing; he truly wanted to see us having fun and representing Madrid like respectable young men. I know that most people don’t know this, but he put as much effort into track as he did football. He wanted us to be successful in everything we did, and he wanted us to have confidence in ourselves to know that no matter the situation, we could pull through because we believed in ourselves. At times he loved being the underdog; there were also times when he loved being Goliath”.
“He never cared about how big the school was we were competing against. He came up with a team that he believed was going to win the meet”.
And, oh by the way, Nick won. Randy Hinkel is survived by his children: Brock and Chelsea and their mother Lisa.
Harry (Bill) Holsclaw
Born and raised in Estherville, Harry (Bill) Holsclaw lettered in many sports and placed in three events at the State meet. He attended Morningside College where he lettered in football, basketball, track, baseball, and golf. His first job was at Clinton High School.Coaching Varsity Diving, backfield Football coach, Head Sophomore football coach, Head Sophomore and Varsity Track coach, and Head Cross Country Coach. During his coaching career his cross country teams won 267 meets and his spring track teams won 168 meets. Some of his accomplishments are: 2 State Championships in track plus 4 District titles; 7 State Championships – 3 runner-up titles and 11 conference championships in cross country where he has had 2 individual state champs and 2 runner-up participants. As an individual he has been selected State Coach of the Year in cross country six times – District coach in cross country six times – Conference coach 10 times – Drake Relays official as high school referee – and has been a prominent speaker at many clinics as well as being nominated for National Honors as coach in cross country and track. Harry and his lovely wife of 31 years, Rose, have 2 children. A daughter Ann and a son, Dave, who played football for the Hawkeye’s.
He has very impressive coaching credentials in Track and Field, Softball and Girls Basketball, but it is his association with Track and Field that we honor Jerry Horton today. Jerry participated in all sports available at Clearfield High School before graduating in 1959 as a 10 time letter winner. After graduating from Clearfield, he headed to Northwest Missouri State University where he earned both his BA and Masters degrees.
Jerry coached girl’s track and field for a total of 37 years at 4 different schools. He started the programs at Winfield Mt. Union, Mount Ayr and Ballard of Huxley before spending his last 29 years at Pekin of Packwood. In each of his 37 years of coaching track, Jerry had at least one state qualifying event. Jerry coached track and field teams won over 150 meets that had 4 or more teams. At Pekin, his squads won 10 District titles and 18 conference titles, including the last 9 in a row. His squads produced 137 state meet qualifiers, 5 state champions and 5 state runners-up. He had teams that placed in the top 10 at the state meet on 5 different occasions. Jerry also coached Girls basketball for 27 years, winning 396 games and retiring with an impressive 66% winning percentage. His teams won 208 softball games at Pekin with a 12 season winning percentage of 70%. The impressive results put up by his teams, earned Jerry a number of individual honors:
IATC Regional Track Coach of the Year-6 times
IATC 25 years of service award
Iowa Girls Coaches Association 25 years of service award
National Girls Track Coach of the Year by the NHSACA
Induction into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame and induction into the
Iowa Girls Coaches Association Girls Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
Athletics have been very good to Jerry, and he has spent a great deal of time giving back. He has been a Drake Relays volunteer, a High School State meet volunteer, and Junior High State meet volunteer and a guest lecturer at numerous coaching clinics around the state. Jerry and wife Karen have 2 sons. Gary and his wife Sara live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with the Horton’s twin grandsons, Trevor and Taylor. Their son Robert lives in Fairfield. As you can see, with this impressive resume’, Jerry Horton could have selected anyone of three sports to concentrate on and lead kids to success. The kids he coached over his 37 years are lucky he didn’t do that. Jerry Horton’s leading of 3 varsity sports to a very high level, gave more high school students the opportunity to live their dreams, contribute to a successful team and be coached by a Hall of Famer.
Jerome Howe was an outstanding track performer while attending Treynor High School in 1966-76-68. Some honors he received or set while in high school were: 1. Twice captain of the track team. 2. Student Council president. 3. Selected as an outstanding teenager in America in 1968. 4. Received the Legion Post Citizenship Award in 1968. 5. Selected as the Outstanding Boy Athlete in the Midwest AAU for ’67-’68. 6. Selected as the Outstanding Athlete at the National Junior Olympic meet in 1968. 7. State champion in Class C mile 3 times. 8. Held the Iowa State Record for the Mile Run from ’68-’75. 9. Held the National Junior Olympic record for the mile run. After graduation from Treynor, he attended Kansas State University and success followed him there also. 1. Twice Big 8 champion in cross country. 2. Twice Big 8 champion in the indoor Mile Run. 3. Twice Big 8 champion in the outdoor Mile Run. 4. Three times selected as “All-American” in Track and Field, two times in Cross Country. 5. Twice voted most inspirational track man at Kansas State. 6. Outstanding athlete at Drake Relays in 1972. 7. National AAU champion in 1500 meters in 1972. 8. Runner-up in the National NCAA 1500 meter run in 1972. 9. Member of the World Record Distance Medley Relay team in 1972. 10. Alternate for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1500 meters in 1972. 11. Inducted into the Drake Relay Hall of Fame in 1977.
Phil Hummel attended high school in Sidney, Iowa where he lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. He attended college at Tarkio, Missouri, where he lettered in football and track. His coaching career started in 1957 in Woodbine, Iowa, where he coached of cross country and boys track. Through the years he has also coached basketball and football in addition to cross country and track. He has been a classroom teacher for 38 years and a coach for 41 years during which his teams have won over 100 cross country and 210 track meets. – Boys State Track titles in 1989-92. – 1A Boys Track 1998 Runner-up – Boys State Cross Country titles in 1986-87. – 1A Boys Cross Country 1995 Runner-up – Girls State Cross Country champions in 1984. – nine times his 4×800 relay has won this event at state competition while holding the record twice. – Two runners have held the 800 meter record. – 16 Districts, 21 Conference Championships – 1988 Iowa Athletic Association Nominee for National Coach of the Year in Cross Country – 1996 National High School Athletic Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year in Track Phil has contributed to track and field in other ways. He has served as IATC Regional Representative, Vice President, President, and Boy’s track representative for the Iowa Athletic Coaches Association. He has been selected IATC regional coach of the year 18 times and state coach of the year four times. He has served as a referee at the Drake Relays and is presently a permanent member of the Boy’s Jury at the Drake Relays. He has been a member of the IHSAA Track Advisory Committee was the Iowa Athletic Coaches Association’s representative for cross country coach of the year. A certified official with USA track and field, he has served the past two years as coach of track athletes for USA track and field competition in China. In 1985 Phil was inducted into the Sidney High School Hall of Fame, Tarkio College Athletic Hall of Fame 2002, and last year the Omaha World Herald coach of the year – the first time this award was given to someone who wasn’t a football or basketball coach. The background this person has in cross country and track and field has him in demand as a speaker at clinics in Iowa and Nebraska. Phil’s family include his wife JoAnn, a business education teacher for 30 years, a son Alan and a daughter Gail.