About me: I grew up in Pleasantville, Iowa. After high school graduation in 1973, I began my freshman year at Iowa State University. When I decided I wanted to teach math and coach, I thought it would be beneficial to go to a college where I could play football. Why Central? One of my high school coaches, John Danks ’69, had a brother, Jim Danks, who was the assistant football coach at Central. I transferred to Central the spring of my freshman year.
Employment: After graduating from Central, I taught high school math and coached in Parkersburg, Iowa. In 1983 I left teaching and began working in information technology at Principal Financial Group. In 1993 I began serving as a pastor on a part-time basis at Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines, while continuing to work at Principal. I continue doing both now. From 2013–18 I served as the baseball chapel leader for the Iowa Cubs.
How did Central prepare me for the life I’m leading now: My math education at Central taught me to solve problems, think logically and teach others. Playing on the football team taught me the importance of working together with others and carrying out my responsibilities.
Memories? Being a part of the 1974 football team that won the national championship!
Favorite tradition? The year-end football banquet, where Coach Schipper would talk about the seniors.
Favorite professors? Dr. Don Meyer—I had math classes with him for most of my years at Central. He made math fun, and I loved his story about a class he had while working for his doctorate where a student asked the professor about how the math they were studying could be used. The professor responded, “This is pure mathematics!”
Coach Schipper—I remember asking him to lead an evening vespers service and he shared his favorite verse, Micah 6:8, which reads, “He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Hobbies/Activities: I like to work out, read and climb 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado.
What I’m reading: The Bible, which I would highly recommend to everyone. I am currently in the gospel of John; The Art of Parenting by Dennis and Barbara Rainey; and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, which I am reading together with my wife for probably the fifth time or more!
What advice would you give to current students? Work hard, do your best, and live out Proverbs 3:5 -6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”