Sigurd “Sandy” E. Sandberg x33
Sigurd “Sandy” E. Sandberg x33
Sigurd “Sandy” Sandberg came from Eddyville, Iowa, and attended Iowa Wesleyan from 1928 to 1933. While he was a student, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Letter Club and Blue Key. He participated in football, basketball and track, competing in the discus. He was named Football All-Conference in 1929, ’30 and ’31 as a tackle.
After leaving Iowa Wesleyan, Sandy signed to play with several National Football League teams. In 1934 he played for the St. Louis Gunners, an independent football team that existed only that year. Sandy moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates (now known as the Steelers) and played there three years. In 1937, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers Football Club, which existed from 1930 to 1943. He is one of the few Iowa Wesleyan alumni to play professional football.
Sandberg served in World War II as an infantryman in Northern Italy. He was captured in 1944 by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war for a year and a half before he was liberated with 30 other troops. After the War, Sandberg ran a plumbing company in St. Louis, Mo. He was married to Marion Derfler and they have a daughter, Carol “Sandy” Schade. Sandberg died April 10, 1989.
Vernon “Bud” E. McLearn ’55
A physical education major from Montrose, Iowa, Bud McLearn didn’t play basketball for Iowa Wesleyan but he learned how to coach it. While a student, McLearn played baseball and was a member of Letter Club.
After graduation, McLearn went on to teach mathematics and coach girls’ basketball at Oakville (IA) High School from 1957-59. He transferred to Mediapolis High School where he spent the next 28 years teaching and coaching. The Mediapolis Bullettes went to the Iowa state tournament 21 times under Coach McLearn, winning two state championships. His Mediapolis home record stands at 333-8 and his career record is 706-80. Bud earned his 600th victory in 1982, only the third coach in Iowa high school history to achieve this mark.
McLearn was inducted into the Iowa Coaches Association Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He was a recipient of the Iowa Wesleyan Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1971.
He married Joyce Wehde x57 and they operated a commercial fishing operation on the Mississippi River in addition to his teaching duties. McLearn passed away April 7, 1999, at the age of 65.
Donald R. Gibbs ’58
A native of Moline, Illinois, Don Gibbs came to Iowa Wesleyan College in the spring of 1955 from Moline Junior College. While an Iowa Wesleyan student, he played baseball and basketball and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was a standout basketball player and was named to the Iowa All-Conference team as a center for the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons. He holds a state record as well as Iowa Wesleyan record as a junior with 753 points scored in 1956-57. He is also seventh on the Iowa Wesleyan career scoring list at 1,482.
Gibbs went on to coach boys’ basketball at Harmony High School for seven seasons and South Tama for three seasons. He moved to Burlington High School in 1969 and coached the Grayhounds until 1975. Gibbs sat out a year and then went to Burlington Notre Dame High School for a season, and finally returned to Burlington High School. He coached the BHS boys’ basketball team to state tournaments in 1980, ’82, ’84 and ’85. He stepped down as head coach in 1985, going undefeated in his final season and finishing fourth in the class 3A state tournament. He came back to coach the Burlington girls’ basketball team for four years, bringing the team from last place to their first state tournament appearance in the school’s history in only four years. He retired from coaching in 1991 with a career record of 368-169.
He has been named District Coach of the Year five times by the Iowa High School Athletic Association and is a member of the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Gibbs received the Iowa Wesleyan College Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1989.
He is married to Larita, and they are the parents of five children: Shelly, Russell, Angela, Laura (dec.) and Randall.
Dr. Douglas A. Ferguson ’68
Douglas Ferguson was a top-notch basketball player for Iowa Wesleyan College as well as an outstanding student. Originally from Franklin Park, Illinois, Ferguson played four years at Iowa Wesleyan and still holds several records in basketball.
Currently, Ferguson is fourth at Iowa Wesleyan in career scoring with 1,649 points and third in career field-goal percentage with 55.1. He holds the record for Field Goals Scored with 19 vs. Rockford College in 1966-67. Ferguson averaged 26.9 points per game during the 1966-67 season, 11th in the NAIA. He was named an NAIA All-American in 1966-67 and 1967-78.
Off the court, Douglas excelled in the classroom, being named to the Dean’s list several times and was a member of Blue Key. In 1966-67 he was elected to student senate president. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
In an article for The Purple and White, Ferguson’s coach Dean Davenport said, “He’s a work-horse and a perfectionist—constantly striving to improve himself on all facets of the gameÉ He is the kind of student-athlete every college is seeking.”
Ferguson went on to earn an M.S. in counseling from Illinois State University and a Doctor of Education from Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He has served as an Associate Dean of students at Iowa Wesleyan, a counselor at Elgin Community College and is currently on the physical education faculty at South Mountain/Maricopa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. He has two daughters, Heidi and Heather.
Kirk R. Soukup ’84
Originally from Ainsworth, Iowa, Kirk came to Iowa Wesleyan after a year at Waldorf College. He played football for Iowa Wesleyan College for four years, serving as captain in 1982 and ’83. He was a standout free safety for the Tigers and holds the school record for career pass interceptions with 32, a single season record of 11, and single game record with four interceptions against Culver-Stockton College on October 2, 1982.
Kirk was named First Team All-District from 1980 to 1984 and was on the NAIA All-American list from 1980 to 1983.
Kirk went on to coach at the high school level as head coach at Winfield-Mt. Union from 1985-89. He also served on the Iowa Wesleyan football coaching staff from 1987 to 1998. He began in 2000 as an assistant at Danville-New London High School and still serves in that capacity.
Kirk was instrumental in getting the IWC Booster Club (now known as the Iowa Wesleyan Athletic Association) off the ground and planned the annual golf tournament to raise money in support of Iowa Wesleyan athletics.
He is married to Karen and they have twin boys, Steven and Michael.