Pilcher to be honored

Dennis Pilcher has received nearly every honore a coach could in junior college basketball.

Saturday may be the most special one of all to the legendary coach.

The Iowa Central basketball court inside Hodges Fieldhouse will be named Dennis Pilcher Court before the start of the Tritons’ game against Iowa Lakes at 3 p.m.

Pilcher’s name will be inserted into two spots on the court, according to Iowa Central athletic director Rick Sandquist.

“It’s a great honor and I really appreciate the Iowa Central administration, Tom Beneke, Dan Kinney and Rick Sandquist for their support,” Pilcher said. “It’s quite a deal for me.

“I’ve been elected into the Hall of Fame, but to be honored by these people here and my school – that’s special.”

The recognition follows up Pilcher’s NJCAA Hall of Fame induction in 2011. The veteran coach also picked up his 700th career victory in 2010.

Pilcher is currently in his 34th season at Iowa Central and holds a career record of 762-486, which is sixth best among active coaches. He was named NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1993.

“Coach has been at it for 34 years and when people think about Iowa Central basketball, they think about Coach Pilcher,” said Iowa Central VP of Enrollement Management and Student Development. “He is the face of that program.

“He is such a wonderful man.”

Beneke, who also played under Pilcher from 1983-1985, realized the huge impact Pilcher had on him and all the other players in his career.

“I look back, being 19 to 20 years old, Coach provided so much guidance ans structure and disipline,” Beneke said. “So many kids coming out of high school need that.”

Pilcher has been much more than just the face of basketball, after being the athletic director and over seeing 21 programs.

“I think Coach was a huge factor no doubt in what Iowa Central has become as a whole,” Beneke said. “A lot of times as an AD and basketball coach, you overlook some things, but he never looked on his program selfishly. He always kept the college in the forefront.”

Through all the seasons, Pilcher has had a steady outreach of love and support from his family, assistant coaches and players.

“Any success I had has come through my wife (Donna) and my family, who has been very important to me,” Pilcher said. “The guys that have played for me and my assistant coaches have always made a huge impact.”

Pilcher has made an impact on a lot of players and coaches while at Iowa Central and know he’ll be permantely remembered.

“He was a father to us all,” Beneke said. “He’s a tremendous human being. It is so fitting that we name the court after him.

“We’ll honor him Saturday and until the end of time.”