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Kevin Sanger heading to IHSAA Football Hall of Fame

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has announced its Football Hall of Fame for 2020. That list includes the likes of former Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys tight end Ryan Hannam from Saint Ansgar and former Central College and West Hancock star Kevin Sanger. Sanger, the son of legendary West Hancock coach Bob Sanger, was a four-year letter winner for the Eagles from 1985  -1988.

Kevin Sanger –

Kevin helped the Eagles to four playoff appearances, including two trips to the UNI-Dome for the state championship game and his senior year to the state semifinals. The Eagles’ journey to the finals in 1986 was the school’s first trip to the ‘dome’ and their first championship game since their title in 1973.

Kevin Sanger – 

Sanger’s football career includes many unique experiences like playing for a state title, winning conference championships, coaching his brothers, and playing for one of the best coaches in Iowa high school football history – who just happened to be his father.

Kevin Sanger –

All four Sanger brothers were Iowa All-State linebackers for the Eagles, and all four played their college football at Central College in Pella. Competing in sports wearing red and white both at West Hancock and Central was just what they did.

Kevin Sanger –

While Kevin was on the roster at Central, the Dutch went an impressive 36-5, winning two conference championships. Kevin played for Hall of Fame coach Ron Schipper at Central, who has a similar resume as his father.

Kevin Sanger –

Schipper went 287-67-3 from 1961-1996. He won a national championship in 1974 and 18 conference championships. In 2000 Schipper was inducted into the National Football Federation’s College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo courtesy of Central College
Kevin Sanger coaching at Central College -Photo courtesy of Central College


Sanger went back to Central following his playing career, where he started as the men’s track and field coach in 1995. In 2000 he was also tasked with heading the women’s program. He stayed active with Dutch football as an assistant coach for 14 seasons.

Former Central College football standout, and the school’s athletics director for many years, Al Dorenkamp was once quoted saying,
“Coach (Kevin) Sanger has been one of the most loyal and dedicated coaches and colleagues that Central College has ever employed.”

Kevin Sanger- 

Sanger and Hannam will be joined by former Iowa Hawkeyes Mike Klinkenborg, Central Lyon and Jeff Koeppel, Urbandale, and former Stanford University football and baseball standout Darin Naatjes, West Lyon, Inwood. Naatjes was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and played three years in the minor leagues.

Kevin Sanger-

The group will be honored during halftime of the Class 4A championship game tomorrow night inside the UNI-Dome. The IHSAA has been celebrating the accomplishments of Iowa’s greatest football players since 1980. Players are nominated by member schools, then presented to a committee of Hall of Fame coaches, then taken to the IHSAA’s Board of Control.


Zarren Egesdal is the sports director at KIOW for Coloff Media. He can be reached at or 641-585-1073

Zarren’s entire conversation with Kevin Sanger



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