Our inductee into the Hall of Fame was born and raised in Denison, Iowa. He graduated from Denison High School in 1946. During his high school career, he participated in Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track. After graduation, Bernie attended Buena Vista College receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1950. Bernie participated in Football and Track in College. He ran 9.9 for 100 yards in college. After receiving his degree, he began his career at Cherokee Washington High School as a teacher and coach. Later he also served as a principal before leaving to enter private business. He joined the staff of the Iowa High School Athletic Association in 1963 as the Assistant Executive Secretary. The last 32 years he has served as the Executive Director. Some of Bernie’s accomplishments include serving as the Chairperson for the National Basketball Rules Committee for eight years and the Football Rules Committee for 25 years. Bernie has also served on the United States Olympic House of Delegates Committee. He is a renown motivational speaker. Honors Bernie has received include being the recipient of the National High School Coaches Distinguishes Service Award and an Award of Merit from the National High School Athletic Directors Association, which is the highest honor given by that organization. In 1996, he was selected as one of the top 20 individuals in last 20 years to have done the most for improving officiating by Referee Magazine. Bernie was inducted into the National Federation of State High Schools Hall of Fame in 1993. The Board of Control established an award in his name in 1989. This award honors an outstanding citizen athlete (boy or girl) in every one of the 400 high schools in the State of Iowa. Bernie spent over 30 years as a referee for high school and college basketball and football. Bernie has also served as the meet manager for the State Boys Track and Field meet. He has seen the sports of track and field and cross country increase in participation during his time as the Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. He is currently raising funds to build the Hall of Pride to recognize student achievements in Iowa high schools in all facets of the school, not just athletics. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Buena Vista University. Bernie and his wife Lois had three children. Today Bernie is the proud grandfather of three granddaughters and one grandson. It is an honor to introduce Bernie Saggau as a 1999 inductee to the Iowa Association Track & Field Hall of Fame.
*Photo from University of Iowa Archives
George Saling was born in 1909 in Memphis, MO. When he was 3 months old the family moved to Corydon, Iowa where he graduated from high school in 1927. George’s first love was basketball and he was captain of the Corydon team in 1926 and 27.
He went out for track, partly because that was what most of the other boys did in the spring. In meets he filled in wherever he was needed most, running anything from the 100 to the 440, in addition to the hurdles.
In the fall of 1927 Saling began classes at the University of Iowa and turned his ambitions toward basketball. One night as he was leaving the court after practice, he raced over a couple of hurdles that were nearby, as George Bresnahan, the U of I head track coach happened to be passing.
Coach Bresnahan spotted Saling’s natural gift for the hurdles and immediately began an intense campaign to recruit George away from basketball and on to the track team. ….Saling credited Bresnahan for much of his success.
During his senior year at Iowa, in 1932, Saling established himself as a world class high hurdler. He set records in many meets that year, including the Drake Relays and the National Collegiate championships, where he equaled Percy Beard’s world record of 14.1. At the 1932 AAU Championships, Saling lost in the high hurdle final to Jack Keller, but still earned a place on the US Olympic team by winning the 200M hurdle title.
In the first heat at the Los Angeles Olympic Games, Saling came in second to Don Finlay of Great Britain. He came back in the semis to run 14.4 breaking the Olympic record. In the final Saling ran 14.6 and took home the gold medal. In fact, Team USA took home both gold and silver as Percy Beard finished 2nd.
Corydon and the track world were stunned by the untimely death of George Saling on April 14, 1933, as a result of a car accident near St Louis. He was just 23 years old.
George Saling’s memory was honored by his hometown high school in 1938 when its newly lighted athletic field was dedicated as “Saling Field”. In 1983, during Corydon’s Old Settlers Celebration, Saling was honored in a special ceremony and a bronze plaque honoring his Olympic Gold Medal winning effort was mounted on the east side of the bandstand on the Wayne County courthouse grounds. In 1989, the University of Iowa established an Athletic Hall of Fame and George Saling was one of the athletes and coaches named to the inaugural class.
Saling’s Olympic track uniform, warm-up suit, Olympic jacket, photos, and clippings are on display in a special case of the 20th Century wing at the Prairie Trails Museum.
After graduating from Beaman-Conrad high school in 1967, Tim Sanderson went on to college to continue his athletic career and get a degree. Tim found himself at Westmar College in LeMars earning a degree in Elementary and Secondary Education and starting all 4 years on both the baseball and football teams. He earned his Masters in Education Administration at Iowa State.
Tim’s first job landed him at Paton-Churdan in 1971 where he taught Social Studies and PE, coached football and track and spent his last 2 years there as the Elementary Principal. Tim left Paton-Churdan in 1978 to become the Elementary Principal at Benton Community. Before retiring from there in 2009, Tim also wore the hats of the Athletic Director and the Special Ed Director.
When Tim got out of coaching, officiating provided him the “fix” he needed by allowing him to stay directly involved in high school athletics. Tim was a registered baseball official from 1971 to 1992 and worked 2 state championship games. He became a registered track official in 1973 and is still very active in our sport.
Tim is a charter board member of the IATO, having been a member since 1999 and the groups President in 2006 and 2007.
Tim has been both an umpire and a starter at NCAA championship meets. He has been a clerk and a starter at the state track meet and was a starter this past season at the state cross country meet.
Seven times in his career, Tim has been chosen as a state or national track and field or cross country official of the year.
Tim and Jacque have 2 children
He came to Iowa from Indiana knowing little about track and field. Chuck Schoffner was born in Lima, Ohio and lived there for 16 years before his family moved to South Bend, Indiana. He played basketball and baseball at Clay High School, graduating in the spring of 1968. He made the move to Des Moines in the fall of ’68 and graduated from Drake University in 1972. After being exposed to the Drake Relays as a Drake Journalism major, Chuck Schoffner has become a great ambassador of our sport.
Chuck attended his first Drake Relays in 1969, as a student, after being hired by longtime Drake coach Gary Osborne to help with meet preparation. He has not missed America’s Athletic Classic since. For the most part, Chuck has been a “behind the scenes” kind of guy but it his work “on the scene” that has led to his winning the Laverne Kloster Service Award. After graduating from Drake, Chuck embarked on a long and rewarding career as a sports and feature writer and editor, for United Press International and The Associated Press, retiring in 2005. With the AP, Chuck was the national women’s basketball writer. He has covered 5 Olympic Games and a number of men’s and women’s Final Fours.
In track and field, Chuck worked in media information his last 3 years as a Drake student, and then covered the meet during his working career. Upon retiring, Chuck was invited to be a member of the Relays Committee. He is chair of the subcommittee that picks the high school participants. In addition to being on the Relays Committee, Chuck writes a feature story each year for the program and works in media information, providing daily wrap-ups and useful information for the throng of media personnel attending The Relays. Chuck has also worked in the same capacity for the NCAA and USATF meets that Drake has hosted. Chuck began covering the Iowa high school state meet in the mid ’70s while working for UPI and AP. Since retiring, he continues to work at the state meet, but in a somewhat different capacity. He sits in the booth with Bud Legg and I talking with Bud about the Cleveland Indians, knowing “that next year is their year”; reciting verbatim the lyrics to any 50’s or 60’s rock and roll song that comes to mind and providing me, and the media with wonderful, useful nuggets of information on participating athletes and teams.
Chuck also chairs the Hall of Fame committees for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, coordinating the selection of athletes in track and field, basketball, softball, and volleyball. He is a “behind the scenes kind of guy”, but it is that work behind the scenes that helps our Iowa athletes get the recognition they deserve and make those people “on the scene” sound and look like they know what they are doing! He and his wife Pam, a Drake Journalism grad herself are still very active writers.
Bob was born on February 20, 1935, in Rochester, Minnesota. He attended Chatfield High School, graduating in 1953. He participated in football, basketball, baseball, and track & field while in high school. He participated in the 1953 Minnesota State Track & Field Meet. Bob graduated from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics & Physical Education in 1960 and a Masters in Mathematics in 1966. Bob ran track and cross country for Winona State serving as captain of both the cross country (fall of 1959) and track (spring of 1958) teams. He qualified for the national meet in the two-mile run and won the conference two-mile title in 1958. Bob held the Winona State Cross Country Course record in 1958. Bob began his track and field coaching career in 1960 at Bloomington, Wisconsin, starting the Track & Field program. He won two conference titles and had one individual state champion. Bob started the boys and girls cross country programs at North Fayette in 1968. During the last 38 year,s North Fayette (now North Fayette- West Union) High School has become one of the premier programs in the state. Here are some of Bob’s accomplishments in track & field, Twenty-two conference championships including the last twelve years in a row, five District titles, and one runner-up finish at the State Meet and the 2006 State Championship Team. He has been selected Regional Coach of the year four times and the State Coach of the Year in 2006. He has had twelve individual state champions (including 3 won titles in two events) and one relay team state champion which set a state record in the 4 X 200 Meter Relay. Bob also has coached a Long Jump Champion at the Drake Relays. Bob’s Cross Country achievements are just as outstanding. His girls’ team won the 1975 State Title, and has had 4 runner-up finishes. He has won nine district titles. The boys won one State Mile Team championship. His teams have won three conference titles. Bob was selected State Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1975. Bob is actively involved in many other aspects of track & field. He has served as a director of Kids Hershey’s Track & Field Meet. He has been the race director for the Fayette County Fair Road Race for 25 years. He was the Boy’s Referee for the Drake Relays in 2004. He is a Level II TAC Coach and a member of the Winona State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Bob was nominated for the National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1975. He has also received awards for his teaching duties as well. Bob received the Honor Teacher Award presented by the NSF, NASA, NSTA, and UF at the Stearns Space Center in Mississippi. He also received the NSF Math award at Lafayette University. Bob and his wife, Betty have four children. They are Dan, Kelly, James, Julie and Kristyn. They are also the proud grandparents of 11 grandchildren. They also found time to raise eight foster children. Bob has been a member of the Lions Club for 37 years and the American Legion for 20 years.
If you’ve ever wondered if coaching high school track and cross country would help you to take on bigger things in life, just ask Dick Seivert, now retired from coaching at Le Mars Gehlen. Dick was born in Elkton, South Dakota in 1950 and took his first teaching job at Armstrong High School in Armstrong, Iowa, in 1972. In 1976 he began teaching and coaching at Le Mars Gehlen Catholic. In 1983 he added the title of 7-12 Guidance Counselor. Dick coached over 100 seasons at Gehlen, heading up softball, baseball, football, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball and boys and girls track at different times in his career. As a cross country coach, he had many state qualifiers, including the 1986 state championship girls’ team. The girls track team won 13 conference titles, 14 district/regional titles and 3 state titles. In his 34 years of coaching girls track, Gehlen had at least 1 state qualifier each season.
In the spring of 1999 something happened that changed Dick’s life. He helped set up a mission trip to Honduras for one of his students, and as they say, the rest is history. Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras, eventually becoming Mission Honduras Le Mars was born and Dick is the director. They send medical teams into Honduras in January to perform clinics and student teams are sent in the spring to do water projects. By 2003, Coach Seivert knew he had to make a decision. He was getting overwhelmed with all of the “irons he had in the fire”. Along with teaching, coaching, being the guidance counselor and Director of Mission Honduras Le Mars, Dick added a food packaging program called “Then Feed Just One”. Something had to give. After 20 years of coaching cross country, he stepped down after the 2004 season. Two years later he made the painful decision of resigning from girls track after almost 3 ½ decades.
Since sending that first student on her mission trip, Dick has orchestrated sending 32 mission teams to Honduras; completed 31 water projects, sent 660 people on mission trips, has brought 7 children to the US for medical care and continues to provide medical care for countless others within Honduras. They have distributed thousands of school supply items, clothes, hygiene products, shipped 352 tons of Then Feed Just One food, which is equivalent to 5 million meals. They have funded and continue to fund orphanages, clinics, and malnutrition centers while working closely with four Honduran organizations to help even more people.
In closing, Dick said, “Although I thoroughly loved every minute of my coaching career and wish I could still enjoy coaching track today, I know that I made the right choice in helping our students in another way; by teaching them how to treat the less fortunate, whether they are from our country or a different one. I guess I have stopped coaching sports to coach our young people in life”.
Charles “Chuck” Silvey
Chuck Silvey was born in Bethany, Missouri but lived out his love for track in field in Iowa.
After receiving his degree from Iowa States Teachers College (UNI), Silvey began his long time coaching career at United Community Schools, coaching boys and girls basketball. His next stops were at Prairie City and Calmar before accepting the position as Head Boy’s Cross Country and Track and Field coach at Tech High School in Des Moines. Silvey made his mark as an excellent cross country coach as his Engineers won six state titles and two state mile team race crowns. Seven more times Tech’s cross country teams finished as state runner-ups. Three of Tech’s individuals won state cross country titles during Silvey’s tenure.
In Track and Field Tech won 6 state titles indoors and one outdoors. Chuck Silvey’s track and field teams were very successful at the Drake Relays winning 15 relay championships and 5 individual gold medals. At the State track meet, Silvey led squads won 14 relay golds and crowned 10 individual champions. In 1982 Chuck Silvey accepted the position as Head Cross Country and Track and Field coach at Des Moines North High School. He retired from North in 1984, closing out a 32 year career at the two schools. He served as Director of Athletic Facilities for Urbandale Public Schools from 1984 to 1998. Coach Chuck Silvey was widely known for conducting all-comers track and field and cross country meets for many years in the greater Des Moines area. Silvey gave countless hours to the sports that he loved so dearly. Chuck Silvey passed away on November 21, 1998. He is survived by his wife Betty and children Charlotte, Gary and Steve.
Graduated from Sheldahl High School and Simpson College. He coached the Indianola Track & Field teams to many invitational, conference , and district championships. His team was runner-up in the state indoor and were outdoor champions in 1957. His team came back in 1958 and won both the state indoor and outdoor championships. He was elected to the Simpson College Hall of Fame in 1997.
Graduated Cum Laude from St.Olaf College with a B.A. in 1954. He was a three year letter winnerin Track & Field and Team Captain his senior season. Following two years in the Army John began his coaching and teaching career at Fairibalt, Minnesota – one year. He then moved onto Northfield High School in Northfield, Minnesota. His Teams won 31 major Championships, 12 straight District Championships, two Regional and one Big Nine Conference Title in Track & Field and three District Championships and had a dual meet record of 53-21 in Cross Country. In 1969, John moved to Ames High School. His accomplishments prior to induction – Boy’s Track & Field 13 District Championships 10 Big 8 Championships 8 Metro Championships 9 State outdoor Championships and Four Runners-up 17 Individual and 16 relay Champions 8 individual and 13 relay Champions at the Drake Relays Boy’s Cross Country – 13 District Championships