Sirianni among honorees at Saturday’s Homecoming

by Tyler LarsonStaff Writer

The homecoming football game will be the main form of entertainment on Saturday, but at halftime Simpson will recognize many people with multiple awards.

Athletic Director John Sirianni is one of many who will be receiving an award. Sirianni will be inducted into the Coaches Hall of Fame.

“It is a pretty humbling experience, and I am really grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Simpson athletics,” Sirianni said. “I was extremely fortunate to work with some of the finest athletes and coaches around.”

Sirianni served as Simpson’s baseball coach from 1985-2006. He is one of 38 Division III baseball coaches to win at least 500 games in a career. He ended his coaching career with a 510-307-2 record.

Sirianni was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year seven times and regional Coach of the Year on two occasions. Simpson players were chosen All-Conference 82 times with 24 earning All-Region honors. Three players were named All-American while seven signed professional contracts.

Senior baseball player Curt Bjork thinks Sirianni’s induction is well-deserved.

“For a man who has spent so much time on Simpson, his players and teams, I think his induction is well-deserved,” Bjork said. “He took care of his players on and off the field.”

Senior baseball player Jason McClaflin also thinks his induction is appropriate.

“He has done a lot for Simpson on and off the field,” McClaflin said. “I think it’s awesome because if anyone deserves it, it would be him,”

Sirianni will not be the only one getting an award at halftime. Along with him going into the Coaches Hall of Fame, Jim Williams will also be inducted on Saturday. Other award recipients Brad Jorgensen ’98, Jim Valley ’87, Carrie Schroeder Steffen ’95 and Damon Youmans ’93 will all be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Also Richard Butler ’48 and the late Richard Shackelford ’38 will be inducted into the Veteran’s Hall of Fame. The last of the awards go to L.G. Sheldon who will be honored with the Dick Buxton Award and Eldon Huston ’54 and Chad Buchanan ’95 who will receive the Double S Award.

The Dick Buxton Award is given to a worthy person from the Simpson community who went above and beyond the call of duty to support Simpson.

The Double S Award is given to a Simpson graduate that lettered while at Simpson and went on to be extremely successful after college.

The awards ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a brunch where the awards will be presented, and the scripts are read about all honorees. They then wait until halftime of the football game to have the awards presented by the person of their choice.

Sirianni is presenting two of the honorees.

“I am going to be the presenter for Jim Valley,” Sirianni said. “I will also present for Coach Williams too.”

These awards and Hall of Fame ceremonies are a yearly process.

“They are a yearly occurrence,” Sirianni said. “We have a selection committee that meets during the winter to select who is in and who is out.”

Sirianni is grateful to not only see these people excel but to see progress in the people he has worked with too.

“It was great to be a part of the development of the athletes to help them for life after college,” he said.