Iowa Central Celebrates 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 9/29/2021
The newest class of honorees to the Iowa Central Hall of Fame will be recognized on Saturday, October 2 with an induction ceremony on the college campus in Fort Dodge.
Denny Drake, Jeff Harris, Dennis Pilcher, Hailey Haupts, Tony Middleton, Patty Croonquist and the 1982 Triton men’s basketball team have been selected as the Class of 2021.
“For more than 50 years, Iowa Central has helped students get to the next step to achieve their dreams and be a vibrant part of their community,” said Iowa Central President Dr. Jesse Ulrich. “Our hall of fame event provides Iowa Central, fellow alumni, faculty and staff a chance to recognize their contributions and accomplishments.”
Drake and Harris will be enshrined as distinguished alumni; Pilcher, Haupts, Middleton and the ‘82 men’s basketball team as athletes; and Croonquist as distinguished faculty.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour followed by the honoring of the inductees. Guests will enjoy a buffet-style meal and a silent auction will be held featuring a wide variety of items. Tickets for the event are $25 and are available at the Triton book store and in the administration office.
Seating is limited and the event will be live-streamed on the Triton Nation YouTube page.
Drake started his college journey at Iowa Central, graduating in 1971. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from Drake University. His successful law career includes creating and leading the law department for UnityPoint Health Corporate.
He also helped lead changes to reform the Stark Law, which reflected changes made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2019.
Harris graduated from Iowa Central in 1975 before earning both his MA and BA from Arizona State University. He is a retired school teacher who produced 400 all-state singers.
Croonquist is a retired advanced instructor at Iowa Central and was the International Student Advisor at the school. She was also the coordinator of the college’s Modern Language program and is an alum of Iowa Central.
Middleton was a two-time first team NJCAA All-America for the Tritons in 1972 and ‘73 before graduating from New Mexico State. He is retired from the United States Army and the Department of Defense.
Haupts, a native of Manson, earned all-region honors in both volleyball and softball for the Tritons, setting several school records while also earning academic All-American status with a 3.9 grade point average.
Pilcher, a member of the NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame, led the Iowa Central men’s basketball team for 40 years while also serving for two decades as the athletic director at the school. Under his way, the Tritons made two national tournament appearances and won 759 games, with Pilcher finishing his career with the 12th-most wins in junior college basketball with 856.
* Denny Drake
- AA, Iowa Central Community College 1971
- BA, Drake University 1973
- JD, Drake University Law, 1977
- Stanford Executive Program, Stanford University, 1991
- Senior Vice President, Corporate Integrity and General Counsel for UnityPoint
- Created and led the Law Department for UnityPoint Health Corporate with oversight of 18 lawyers and offices in three states.
- Led changes to reform the Stark Law which is reflected in changes made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2019
- Class of 1915 Award from Drake University
- Bill Boelter Award for excellence in athletics, academics and leadership
- Past Chair, Health Law Section, Iowa State Bar Association
* Jeff Harris
- AA, Iowa Central Community College, 1975
- BA and MA, Arizona State University, 1978
- Retired teacher Westwood High School, Mesa, AZ
- Produced 400 All-State singers during his teaching career
- Former Musical Director for Mesa Musical Theater
- Former Director of Music at Scottsdale United Methodist Church
- Named Arizona Music Educator of the Year in 2008
- Received the Arizona Choral Educators Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015
- Founding Director of the Sonoran Desert Chorale
* Patty Croonquist
- Retired Advanced Instructor
- International Student Advisor at Iowa Central
- Coordinator of the college’s Modern Language program
- Iowa Central Alumni
- Iowa Central Festival of Nations event chair
* Tony Middleton
- Iowa Central 1972-1973
- BA, New Mexico State University 1976
- United States Army, Retired
- Department of Defense, Retired
- NJCAA 1st Team All American in Football, 1972 and 1973
- Starting LB, Iowa Central, 1972 and 1973
- Both years, Tritons finished undefeated in regular season play
- Both years, Tritons qualified for a bowl game
- Iowa Central went 17-1-1 during his playing career
- Participated in the National Championship game in 1973
* Hailey Haupts
- Two-sport college athlete. Volleyball and Softball.
- NJCAA 2006 2nd team All-Region Volleyball
- NJCAA 2007 1st team All-Region Volleyball
- NJCAA 2007 1st team All-Region Softball
- NJCAA 2008 Honorable Mention All-Region Softball
- 110 Career Aces
- 374 Career Blocks
- NJCAA 2006 1st Team All-Region Softball
- NJCAA 2007 Honorable Mention All-Region Softball
- Holds several sports career records
- Academic All American with a 3.9 GPA
* Dennis Pilcher
- 51 seasons coaching - 40 seasons at Iowa Central
- 20 years as Iowa Central Athletic Director - 1990-2010
- 856 wins - 12th all-time among junior college head coaches
- 759 wins at Iowa Central
- Two NJCAA national tournament appearances - 1990, 2012
- Two Region XI Coach of the Year awards - 1990, 2012
- Coached four first team All-Americans
- Inducted into North Clay High School Hall of Fame - 2009
- Inducted into NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame - 2011
- Dennis Pilcher Court named after him - 2013
I chose Iowa Central because of the low cost of tuition and it was close to home.