Jack Blackwell, Hall of Fame Lifetime Contribution Award
For over 40 years, Blackwell has made a lasting impact on the athletic programs at Indian Hills Community College and Centerville Community College. A native of Ranger, Texas, where he played high school sports, he owned Blackwell Tire Company for four decades before retiring in October 2014. Blackwell has been a loyal supporter of the college and its athletic programs, offering financial support for the baseball, softball, golf and basketball teams as well as various sports camps. He has also supported the IHCC Foundation's annual golf tournament, Celebrity Night and auction events. Blackwell's company has been a radio sponsor of Indian Hills athletic contests, one of the home basketball tourneys each year is also sponsored by the business and Jack was one of the founding members of the Indian Hills Athletics Booster Club. He also provides a scholarship each year to a member of the IHCC baseball team.
Brad Stracke, Golf
Stracke had two stints at IHCC – as a golfer and later as the school's very successful golf coach. He finished second at the regional tournament as a freshman golfer, losing a playoff to determine medalist honors, and was the conference tourney medalist the following season. Stracke placed 25th at the 1989 NJCAA national tourney, finishing with a four-round score of 307, and he led IHCC to a national tournament berth again the following year. The native of Perry, Ia., was later named all-conference at Alabama-Birmingham and then spent four years playing in the professional ranks. Upon his return to IHCC, Stracke coached Indian Hills to a spot in the national golf tournament all nine years he was at the helm, winning the school's first-ever national title in 2000. That began a streak of six straight years, under Stracke's direction, when the Warriors finished in the top three at the national tourney. After serving as an assistant coach at the University of Florida, he took over the golf program at the University of North Texas and has led the Mean Green to unparalleled success, twice being named the conference coach of the year and leading them to the NCAA Regional Tournament three times in a five-year period.
Eric Rasmussen, Baseball
Recruited out of Racine, Wis., by legendary coach and IHCC Hall of Famer Pat Daugherty, Rasmussen pitched on state and region championship teams in both of his campaigns with the Centerville Junior College Falcons. He compiled records of 8-1 as a freshman and 8-3 the next season. He was a first-team All-American at the University of New Orleans and then became the first baseball player ever drafted out of UNO, taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973. He had an auspicious beginning with the Cards, pitching a shutout in his first National League start. He also threw a shutout in his initial American League start with the Royals, the only MLB pitcher to ever accomplish the feat of shutouts in his first start in each league. He won 50 games in all, including 14 with the Cardinals and Padres in 1978. Since retiring as a player Rasmussen has spent a number of years coaching in pro baseball, the majority of those seasons with the Minnesota Twins.
Karie Downing, Volleyball and Softball
Downing, an Ottumwa High School graduate, stayed in her hometown to begin her collegiate career and it proved to be a wise decision as she made a mark on the college's volleyball and softball programs. A middle blocker in volleyball, she still holds the single-season and career records for kills and blocks with 617 and 1028, respectively, and her 197 blocks in 2007 and career total of 328 are also records. She also ranks second in digs for a season and third in aces. She became the program's third first-team All-American and all three are now in the Hall of Fame. In one season of softball at IHCC, Downing batted .398 and slugged four homers, earning second-team all-region honors. At Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, she led the team in digs and was second in kills as a junior and, after being moved to the libero position, topped the Cougars in digs and service aces as a senior.
Shanna Bressler, Softball
Bressler ended her IHCC career ranked in the top five in softball program history in no fewer than 10 single-season offensive categories and four career lists. The shortstop, who came to Indian Hills from Sioux City, was named first-team all-region twice and a first-team All-American after her standout sophomore campaign. She is the all-time stolen base leader with 66 and, over a decade after playing for the Warriors, Bressler is still second all-time in at-bats (409) and hits (180). She is the single-season leader in at-bats (235) and hits (120). She also did an outstanding job in the classroom, earning Academic All-American honors both years at IHCC. After leaving Indian Hills, Bressler attended Drake University where she also excelled, garnering a first-team all-conference award and being selected as a Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete.
Dwight Buycks, Basketball
A two-time All-American at Indian Hills, Buycks played for IHCC teams that went 58-13 in his two seasons and qualified for one national tournament appearance. The Milwaukee, Wis. native started every game during his Indian Hills career, averaging 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a freshman, and 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists the following year. The talented guard is among the career leaders in scoring average, field goal attempts, free throws and free throw attempts. He was a two-time first-team all-region choice and was named an Honorable Mention All-American as a freshman and 1st Team All-American as a sophomore. He ranks as IHCC's third-leading all-time scorer with 1254 points, 678 of them in his sophomore year, 5th-highest total in IHCC history. After two years at Marquette University in his hometown, Buycks embarked on a professional career that has included two stints in the NBA, most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers last April. He also played for the Toronto Raptors and is currently playing in a professional league in China.