CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Iowa High School Athletic Association is proud to announce 2023 honorees of the IHSAA Football Hall of Fame and IHSAA Officials Hall of Fame, to be recognized at the UNI-Dome during the finals on November 16-17.
Two officials will be inducted at halftime of the Class 4A championship on Thursday, November 16. Six former players will be honored at halftime of the Class 5A championship game on Friday, November 17.
The IHSAA began honoring the on and off-field accomplishments of Iowa’s greatest high school football players back in 1980. Players are nominated by member schools, then presented to a committee made up of Hall of Fame coaches, then taken to the IHSAA’s Board of Control.
Below is brief biographical information on each Hall of Fame selection. More information on the selections will be available in the annual championship program, available for $5 at the UNI-Dome or $8 through the IHSAA office.
CLASS OF 2023
IHSAA FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
DAN DICKEL, Mid-Prairie – An all-state defensive end who also played receiver for Mid-Prairie helped the 1969 squad finish undefeated and ranked in the top five. Played both ways and starred for Mid-Prairie’s state basketball runner-up squad before playing defensive end at Iowa. Dickel led the Big Ten in tackles for loss and was named Iowa’s team MVP in 1972 before playing in the All-American Bowl. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts, he played five NFL seasons before going into high school coaching, featuring stops all around the Iowa City area at City High, West, Regina, Highland, and Lone Tree.
RYAN KOCK, Southern Cal – Four-year letterwinner who helped the Mustangs win the Class 1A title in 2000. Graduated as a three-time all-state player with 3,552 all-purpose yards and 63 touchdowns, 330 tackles, and a varsity record of 39-6. Kock was also a standout on the track, qualifying four times for state and three times at Drake Relays. He went on to be a four-year player at Iowa State as fullback, including 20 career touchdowns, a game-winning touchdown in the 2004 Independence Bowl, and team MVP honors in 2006.
JAMES MORRIS, Solon – Led Solon to four straight finals, including three championships in one of the great two-way careers in Iowa high school football history. Morris was a two-time Gatorade player of the year (2008, 2009) and three-time all-state player for the Spartans, rushing for 6,477 yards, scoring 674 points, and leading his team in tackles for three seasons as a linebacker. Morris went on to play at Iowa, earning All-American honors in 2013 and finishing as a Lott and Campbell Trophy finalist. He spent three seasons in the NFL, including a Super Bowl win with the New England Patriots at linebacker and on special teams.
LON OLEJNICZAK, Decorah – Quarterback and multi-sport star for Decorah during a successful run in the late 1970s, Olejniczak’s squad went undefeated in the regular season and made the 1978 playoffs in Class 3A. He was a Prep Football All-American and the Des Moines Register’s pick as elite all-state quarterback. Decorah also made the state basketball tournament with Olejniczak and he is a member of the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a two-time all-state player under his father and coach Dennis. He went on to play both football and baseball at Iowa, starting at multiple positions and on special teams in 1980-81.
JOEL OSBORN, Harlan Community – Record-setting three-year quarterback for the Cyclones, including in a memorable comeback for the Class 3A championship in 2003. Osborn held state career and single-season records for passing yards (6,216 and 3,261) and passing touchdowns (76 and 42) upon graduation, and held numerous Harlan offensive records as an all-state passer. He was a mutli-sport standout who led the “Cyclone Slam” in 2003-04 – consecutive championships in track and field, baseball, football, and basketball – and won 57 straight competitive contests across those sports. Went on to play both football and basketball at Northwest Missouri State, starting at quarterback in two Division II national finals and finishing with career passing marks of 5,501 yards and 40 touchdowns.
MARK SINDLINGER, Charles City – Dominant two-way force who played defensive tackle, offensive tackle, and fullback was a three-year starter for the Comets. Sindlinger was a first team all-state selection in 1982 while excelling in wrestling and track and field. He won three wrestling state titles at super heavyweight and two junior national championships, and is a member of the IHSAA Wrestling Hall of Fame. Sindlinger on to be four-year letterwinner at Iowa, starting three years at center and playing in four bowl games, including the 1986 Rose Bowl while winning a Big Ten title and earning All-American honors in wrestling.
IHSAA OFFICIALS HALL OF FAME
JIM PFEIFER, Milford – A four-sport athlete at Van Buren, Pfeifer began officiating with wrestling in the 1979-80 season, right after his high school graduation. He took up baseball and football in 1981 and has been an award-winning official in all three sports ever since. An Iowa NFHS official of the year in both football and wrestling, Pfeifer has officiated 10 championship football games, four state wrestling finals, and 14 baseball title games.
DAVE RITTMAN, Ankeny – Since beginning his officiating journey in 1990, Rittman has been a leader and successful across multiple levels of high school and collegiate sports. He has worked multiple IHSAA championship games in both football and basketball while serving as an active official, supervisor, and coordinator for the CIML at the high school level and numerous college leagues, and serving as president of the Des Moines Officials Association.