IOWA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACHES HALL OF FAME
(These new inductees into the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of fame will be honored at the halftime of the Class 3A Championship, Thursday, November 15.)
DAVE CARPER - A native of Scribner, NE and a 1978 graduate of Wayne State College, Wayne, NE, he coached football for 32 years, including 31 as a head coach from 1978 to 2009. He started at Bancroft, NE before spending 10 seasons at Nishna Valley, Hastings and 19 years at Clarinda. At Nishna Valley he took four teams (1985, 1988, 1987 and 1989) to the play-offs with a combined record of 36-5. His 1985 and 1989 teams were semifinalists. At Clarinda he led five teams (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005) to the playoffs posting a combined 46-11 marl. His 2002 and 2003 Clarinda teams were also semifinalists. In 2002, Coach Carper was on the staff of the South Shrine squad and the following year he was named Class 2A State Coach-of-the-Year. He retired in 2009 with a cumulative win-loss record of 163-127-2. He continues to be an industrial tech teacher and the head boys' track coach at Clarinda. He and his wife Jolene reside in Clarinda. They have two daughters Jessica and Katie,
and a son Adam.
STEVE WATSON - After graduating from Des Moines Hoover High School in 1978 and Westmar College in 1982 Mr. Watson started his career at Ponca, NE. He coached and taught there four seasons, winning one conference title and taking two teams to the playoffs. He then moved to Dallas Center-Grimes where he led to the Mustangs to 17 successful seasons. His Mustangs won five District titles and qualified eight times for the playoffs 1990, 91, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99 and 2003, the first ever trips for the school. Three times his team was eliminated by the eventual champion and one by the runner-up. His composite w-l record was 138-60. As a coach and the school's activities director, he help lead the school and its programs from the ranks of Class 2A to Class 3A including a facilities improvement. He is now in his 18th year as Activities Director. He and his wife Kim have raised two grown children, Tony a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ashley of San Diego, CA.
Walt Fiegel Coaching With Character Award - Curt Bladt
(Presented at the halftime of the Class 4A Championship, Friday, November 16)
This award was created in 2003 after the death of Sioux City East Coach Walt Fiegel who was also the Executive Director of the Iowa Football Coaches Association. It honor an individual who embodies the high character, integrity, concern for kids, and service to the profession that were modeled by Coach Fiegel.
A native of Exira where he played for Hall of Fame Coach Dennis Frerichs, Bladt earned his BS degree in science and physical education from Morningside College. He is the second winingest coach in Iowa prep football history, is the 2012 Walt Fiegel Coaching with Character Award recipient. The affable coach of the Cyclones was a junior high and assistant coach for 10 seasons, has completed 35 years as the head coach and arguably is the most decorated mentor in Iowa annals.
His teams have a staggering 372-43 win-loss mark for an 89.64 winning percentage. That is the second most wins and the best win percentage in the history of the sport. His teams have qualified for the State Playoffs 32 times in Class 3A and have produced Iowa bests of 11 state championships, 8 second place finishes, and 88 wins against 21 losses. In addition they have won 27 conference/district titles. He has been named national coach of the year twice - once by the National High School Coaches Association (2006) and once by the National Federation of High School State Associations. Two of his most personal crowning moments were (1) being selected to the NFHS National Hall of Fame in 2010 and (2) being chosen as the Section 4 winner of the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award for his work in supporting and connecting with an injured Perry player in a junior varsity game at Harlan and his networking with people afflicted with Miller-Fisher Syndrome, a rare variant of Guillian-Bare' Sy
ndrome, a disease that causes the immune system to attack nerves resulting in a loss of muscle function. It is a disease he had after the 2004 playoffs but battled back to be on the sidelines for the 2005 campaign, which resulted in a tenth state championship.
Off the field, there is seldom a community or school activity that he does lend his support to, including playing Santa Claus for the Western Iowa Arts Association and other groups (for milk and cookies). He and his wife Jill have raised three grown boys Jeff, Todd and Greg.