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 –