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Iowa Central Basketball Court Named After Dennis Pilcher
 February 26, 2013

FORT DODGE –Dennis Pilcher’s name is already synonymous with Iowa Central athletics. For 34 years he has paced the sidelines of the basketball court at Hodges Fieldhouse. On Saturday, Feb. 23, Iowa Central will make sure he is forever linked to that court as it will officially name the court after him before tip-off of his squad’s game against No. 8 Iowa Lakes.

Pilcher has been a mainstay on the Fort Dodge campus. In addition to head basketball coach, Pilcher was school’s second athletic director ever, a position he inherited from Paul Shupe and held for 20 years before retiring from the position in 2010.

Pilcher has reeled off the milestones over the past few years. On Nov. 13, 2010, he won his 700th career basketball game. In 2011, he was elected in the NJCAA Hall of Fame. Just last season, he led the Tritons to a Cinderella run to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, the program’s second ever appearance.

However, Pilcher is most humbled by the court dedication.

“This is a huge honor for me, I am so appreciative the administration allowed this to happen,” said Pilcher. “The Hall of Fame induction was special because there are so many great coaches in there, but this is something even bigger.”

Pilcher’s dedication to excellence and leadership has been the example for the rest of the programs at Iowa Central. His teams routinely win on the court and represent Iowa Central well off the court.

“I tried to recruit good kids that played hard, but were also good people,” said Pilcher. “I have always felt that the true measure of a program should be what the kids are doing ten years after they leave, and I think we have done a great job getting them prepared for life after basketball.”

Pilcher’s influence has extended to the rest of the athletic department.

“Coach Pilcher has set an example that each program here has tried to follow,” said current Iowa Central athletic director, Rick Sandquist. “It’s neat that we are able to do this for him. He deserves this honor and I am glad we can do it.”

In typical Pilcher style, he deflected the credit of this achievement away from himself.

“I’ve never scored a basket or grabbed a rebound in 34 years of coaching,” said Pilcher. “They players did all of the work.”

Pilcher also gave credit for the honor to family and his wife Donna along with his litany of assistant coaches.

“Donna has been a great coach’s wife throughout my career,” said Pilcher. “I also have a great appreciation for all of my assistant coaches. I have a lot of great assistant to help me out over the years. None of this could have been possible without all of these people in my life.”

Pilcher currently holds a 762-486 overall record as a head coach. He has the sixth-most wins among active coaches.  He was also named NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1993. As an athletic director, he saw Iowa Central’s program grow to 21 sports. Iowa Central won 10 NJCAA National championships and two NATYCAA Cups – an award given to the top two-year college athletic department – during his tenure.

The court dedication will take place after the women’s game against Iowa Lakes on Saturday, Feb. 23. The first game ever played on Dennis Pilcher Court is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

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