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Steven Allspach, Journal sports writer Jul 24, 2004

The spirit of former East High football coach Walt Fiegel lives on.

Fiegel, who coached East to 128 victories, 22 playoff appearances and the Class 4A state title in 1984, passed away last Nov. 12.

His death stunned the football coaching community far and wide.

In his memory, a group of former athletes have formed the Walt Fiegel Foundation and the organization will conduct its first major event in establishing a scholarship program on Aug. 7 with the Walt Fiegel Classic golf outing at Whispering Creek.

“Walt Fiegel was an inspiration to hundreds of students and athletes, not only at East High, but everywhere,” said Jon Danke, a former Raider football player and a member of the Fiegel Foundation board of directors. “After Walt passed away we were determined to continue his legacy in some way.

“The Walt Fiegel Foundation was established after we received permission from the family and with the intent to provide scholarship opportunities for high school students and eventually grants to community organizations.

“The sole purpose of the foundation is to perpetuate the values of Coach Fiegel in his memory, not only in Siouxland, but throughout the state of Iowa as well.”

The foundation is governed by a board of directors including Danke and several other former East athletes, including Dave Croston, Jeff Croston, Kevin Kay, Ras Vanderloo, Mike McManamy, Darin Hildahl and Ed Gochenour, who is the president of the foundation.

The board also includes Tom Peterson, an administrator at East High during Fiegel’s teaching and coaching career.

Honorary board members are Fiegel’s children, son Jim and daughters Jill and Beth, along with two high profile coaches, former Iowa Coach Hayden Fry and successful longtime Iowa prep coach Ken Winkler of State Center-based West Marshall.

Winkler, a close Fiegel confidant and friend for several years, has coached state championship teams at Treynor and West Marshall and also guided West High fortunes for two seasons in 1983-84.

The foundation is still actively involved in the process of raising funds to finance the scholarship intentions.

Danke (712-276-2664, 402-494-2110) and McManamy (712-274-1144) can be contacted by any and all interested in playing in the golf outing on Aug. 7 at Whispering Creek.

Also, Gochenour (712-276-7574) can be reached for further information.

“We’ve been more encouraged than ever after we changed the golf format to four-person teams in a Texas Scramble format,” said Danke. “We’ve gotten more response lately and hope to get even more.

“We were going to have a calcutta dinner on Aug. 6, too, but we’ve decided not to do that. The format on Saturday now will be more popular.”

The Fiegel Foundation is still looking for a major sponsorship and has several levels of individual and corporate sponsorships.

Danke said the deadline for golf applications is Monday, Aug. 2.


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