Super Fan shows 16 years of support for men’s basketball

Super Fan shows 16 years of support for mens basketball

by Brad VanEatonStaff Writer

Over the past 16 years, 52-year-old Joe Gezel has attended many Simpson College sporting events and put his full effort into being the best supporter he can be for the Storm.

Gezel is content sitting or standing directly behind the Storm basketball bench, at home and away games, cheering on the boys no matter what the situation.

For all of Gezel’s efforts and his genuine attitude toward the Simpson community and athletic programs, he has been dubbed the “Super Fan.”

Gezel began attending Simpson basketball games 16 years ago when his wife, Dorothy, began babysitting Head men’s basketball coach Bruce Wilson’s son Connor.

Gezel and Wilson became close friends and have carried that friendship on to this day. One day Wilson asked Gezel to come support the Storm at a home basketball game, and he has been coming and rooting them on ever since.

“Joe is definitely deserving of the Super Fan label,” Wilson said. “He is a great Storm fan and a great Storm supporter. He’s always there through the thick and the thin.”

You really notice when Gezel is in the stand cheering on the Storm with his loud, passionate voice.

With Gezel’s love for the game, you would have expected him to maybe have some experience with it himself. Gezel’s love for Simpson basketball comes despite little experience playing the sport himself.

“I tried playing basketball when I was younger, but that only lasted a few minutes before the coach came over and told me I should try out for the wrestling team,” Gezel said.

Gezel really shows his genuine attitude and true concern for the program when he is cheering on the Storm. He tries his best to make it to as many away games as possible to give the team the best chance of winning, especially when it’s against Central.

He said the crowd is like a sixth man and that can help decide whether a team wins or loses.

The only thing that disappoints Gezel about Simpson is the lack of support the men’s team gets at their home games. He thinks that because the boys are putting it out there for Simpson, they should get a lot of support in return.

Gezel said that the gym here should be standing only, whether it be the Dutch or anybody else in the Iowa Conference.

“I have always known Joe by ‘Super Fan’ because he is always there and loves Simpson basketball or any of the other Simpson activities,” senior forward Christopher Mars said.

Gezel appreciates when an athlete gives 100 percent and does whatever he can do for a win. It’s obvious to him when this is the case, and that’s what makes it so easy for him to continue to come and watch the Storm play.

“There is a lot to say about Bruce and what kind of kids he brings into this program,” Gezel said. “He really does a good job with the boys, not only with the game of basketball, but in life. I’ve seen and heard of many former athletes that were coached by Bruce that went on to become very successful. It’s very nice to watch young men with their heads in the right place.”

Gezel recently held his annual preseason barbeque at his house for the basketball team to show his support and to get to know the boys.

This one is mainly hot dogs and hamburgers, but he tells the boys that if they win the conference, the annual postseason barbeque will be rib-eye steaks.

“It doesn’t happen very often when you have a person who is so genuinely interested in our student athletes,” Bob Nutgrass, professor of physical education and physical education department head, said. “He has a true interest in our teams and the athletes being successful, and has since I can remember in the early ’90s.”

Gezel is a true fan to the Simpson community and said that he will continue his support for a long time to come. With his commitment to Simpson and his true concern for the team, Gezel will be known as a Super Fan for many years to come.