DONNELLSON – The voice of the Iowa Hawks became the voice of the Central Lee Hawks for just over an hour Wednesday morning.
Gary Dolphin, the voice of the University of Iowa football and men’s basketball program addressed the staff at Central Lee High School as part of Welcome Back activities for teachers and staff.
Dolphin has been the play-by-play man for the Hawkeyes since 1996 now working for Learfield/IMG College and the Hawkeye Sports Network.
The Cascade, Iowa native gave the staff a full update on the Hawkeye football program and his relationship with the activities department at the University, and spoke briefly about hot button issues such as Name-Image-Likeness, Caitlin Clark, and an outlook of the men’s basketball program.
He told the staff assembled in the high school gymnasium that if he hadn’t gone into sports broadcasting he would either have been a mechanic or a high school history teacher.
When asked how many history teachers were in the gym, only three people raised their hands.
“Well, that’s a problem right there,” he said. “We’ve got to teach our kids about our history, our military history.”
At the end he encouraged staff to talk to parents and students about becoming teachers especially in rural Iowa.
“In small towns the economic standards are much less than what we’d like them to be, so thank you all for what you’re doing. I notice, and we love you, so keep up the great work,” Dolphin said.
“Encourage the parents and our kids as they get older to be a school teacher going forward.”
As he reminisced with staff, Dolphin talked about growing up without a father who died from a heart attack at 36. He said he had to give up his love of baseball to work part-time at a local garage. Two of six other siblings also had to go to work to help support the family.
Nearing the end of high school, Dolphin was encouraged to go to broadcasting school by a counselor and ended up attending Brown Institute in Minneapolis, a 2-year vocational program that is now owned by CBS Studios.
After a brief stint doing some Hawkeye football, Dolphin got into the finance business and worked for a bank in Dubuque before getting the call to apply for the play-by-play spot with the University. He was one of more than 90 applicants for the job and it was narrowed to him and a broadcaster from Nebraska named Jim Rose.
Dolphin said he has high hopes for the Hawkeye football team this fall with the addition of Cade McNamara and many others that are fitting nicely into the system. He said transfers and some signings out of Moline, Illinois should put the men’s hoops team in a good place this year as well.
One teacher asked Dolphin if he thought a statue will be erected for Caitlin Clark at Carvery-Hawkeye.
“Lets get her through her next two years. She’s not going anywhere right now and she has a couple million reasons not to. But she’s got two years left and then we’ll see. Maybe they put one up next to Dan Gable out there,” he said.
Central Lee Superintendent Dr. Andy Crozier challenged the staff this year to create a facilities plan that will allow additional classroom space at the K-8 building to allow the district to remove enrollment caps and bring more students to Central Lee.
“We want to continue to make Central Lee a place where people come to school and we want to uncap enrollment so we need the facility space to do that. It doesn’t mean we’re going to break ground a year or two from now, it just means we need to get our act in order so when the time is ready, we’re ready to go,” He said.
“We need to work on plans and ideas and what we want to do so we can operationalize it when we’re ready to do it.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here