Nutgrass wins IAHPERD award

by Ashley Van Alstine

Bob Nutgrass has a lot of titles. He’s the Physical Education Department Head, Men’s Tennis Coach and Chair of the Department of Physical Education.

The award he won has an equally complex title: The Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance award, the highest honor that the organization gives.

“I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Debby Eldred, 1974 alumna of Simpson and IAHPERD recognition committee member. “It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving individual.”

IAHPERD is a organization of undergraduate students and professionals who are interested in having a career in the profession of athletic training, physical education, and dance, just to name a few.

Every year at the state convention IAHPERD recognizes members who have made great strides for the program, however the award that Nutgrass received is not given every year.

“I’m honored to be in a category of such an elite few,” Nutgrass said. “I was surprised that I got the award. I’ve just enjoyed working in the association. I have a lot of great mentors who I really owe this award to.”

Nutgrass has held many offices in the organization, among them the Iowa Future Professionals Advisor for two years, Leisure/Recreation Chair, Dance Education Chair for two years and Central Delegate for three years.

“Bob is a strong and gentle leader,” Eldred said. “He has the respect of all who work with him. The students at Simpson College love him. He is always willing to volunteer to work on committees and causes that help our profession and association. He is truly one in a million.”

Nutgrass has been an active member of Simpson for 16 years.

“I think that Bob is an excellent teacher, he relates to the students and works extremely hard,” Athletic Director John Sirianni said. “He has a positive working relationship with his students as well as other members of the physical education department.”

The organization works to promote Iowa’s physical-education programs. It tries to make people more aware of good, healthy lifestyles and deals with state law issues, like funding for Iowa’s physical education departments.

Sirianni said Nutgrass has worked hard both for IAHPERD and for Simpson.

“He was well deserving, and I’m pleased he received that recognition,” Sirianni said. “He’s worked diligently on campus. He’s worked on all areas of physical education to make it a good program.”

The award is good for the physical education department in general, too.

“With him winning this award it adds a great deal of credibility to our physical education department,” Sirianni said. “If our lead person of that department is recognized and respected it gives more creditability to that department.”

If students are interested in becoming part of IAHPERD they can contact Nutgrass. He encourages students to at least look into the program.

“Students that have gotten involved have really benefited from it,” Nutgrass said. “It helps students understand that it is important to network with professionals.”