Fred Jacobeit and Fred Parsons ’57 were inducted into the Iowa Wesleyan College Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 5.
Jacobeit, of Tinley Park, Illinois, began his college football career at the University of Illinois, where he played for one season before being drafted. He spent the next two years playing for the Army’s championship team in Germany. After his tour of duty, he returned to the United States and enrolled at Iowa Wesleyan College. As a Tiger he played three seasons on the football field, missing only one game. He was named to the All-Conference Team in 1948. He played baseball for the Tigers in his senior year. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan in 1950.
Jacobeit played football in the Midwest Semi-Pro League for seven years.
Following graduation, Jacobeit went on to a long career in coaching and athletics administration. He coached football, track and basketball and served as athletic director and head of the P.E. Department in Galva, Illinois, for four years. He spent the next 35 years as a teacher, coach and administrator at Bloom Township high School in Chicago Heights. There he taught physical education and coached football basketball, baseball and wrestling. He also served as athletic director for 15 years and sponsored the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. He retired in 1989.
While a student, Jacobeit was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and was selected for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
He has been married to Barbara Henderson Jacobeit for 62 years. They have taught ballroom dancing for more than 50 years. He is a lay speaker and minister of care for the Hazel Crest Community Methodist Church.
Fred Parsons, of Keosauqua, Iowa, played basketball and baseball at Iowa Wesleyan; he was a three-year starter on the baseball team, catching and playing outfield. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1957.
After graduating with a degree in education and sociology, he completed a master’s degree in education and administration from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College.
Parsons continued to participate in baseball and fast pitch softball at the amateur level, playing in 16 state tournaments in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. In 1961 he was selected to represent Iowa on a fast pitch team that played a series against the defending national champions.
He taught social studies and driver’s education and coached boys and girls sports teams at Fox Valley High School in Milton, Iowa, for four years. In 1962 he returned to his hometown of Keosauqua, Iowa, to begin a long and successful career at Van Buren Community Schools. He continued coaching baseball and basketball while teaching, then moved into the administrative ranks as a middle school principal in 1969. He was named elementary principal when the middle and high schools were combined; a position he held for 22 years.
In 23 seasons of coaching baseball, Parsons’ squads collected 379 wind and 170 losses; his basketball teams has won 688 games. He ranks second in all-time wins among active basketball coaches in Iowa. He has served on the board of directors of the Iowa High School Basketball Coaches Association and was chosen to coach in the Dr. Pepper Summer All Star Games.
Along with numerous conference championships, Parsons’ basketball teams have appeared in 10 sub-state tournament games. In 1980 his team finished fourth in the state tournament.
He has been selected as Coach of the Year by the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association and was elected to the Iowa Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008.
Parsons retired in 1998 but continues to teach part-time. He is married to Sheila Parsons.