Moser headed to Hall of Fame

True to form, Sam Moser wasn’t the least bit interested in talking about himself when asked about his recent Iowa High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame nomination.

”The first thing I thought about was all of my former players and assistants,” said Moser, still the dean of Fort Dodge Senior High head football coaches. ”This is, of course, a tremendous honor, but more so for them and Dodger football in general.

”This certainly isn’t about me. It never has been. I’ve always said through the years that I coached and taught for as long as I did to build relationships and try my best to have a lasting impact on the lives of my (players and students). I hope I can say I did that. I hope the kids and my staff would agree. That’s all I could ask for, looking back now.”

Moser will be honored at halftime of the Class 3A state championship game in Cedar Falls on Nov. 21. Jerry Shultz of Estherville-Lincoln Central is the other member of the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

The 61-year-old Moser retired after the 2003 season – his 15th as the Dodger leader. He accumulated 57 career victories, which still ranks him second behind Forrest Marquis (74 from 1942-54) in program history.

Fort Dodge qualified for the playoffs four times during Moser’s tenure, and the Dodgers reached the state quarterfinals in 1994. He led them to conference championships in 1989 (Big Eight) and ’94 (CIML National).

”You don’t go into coaching with the idea or the goal that you’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday,” Moser said. ”We weren’t the most successful program around record-wise, but it’s not just about that. I always wanted to help continue Fort Dodge’s tradition of being a classy, hard-working, blue-collar program. That’s all you can really control. You may not win ’em all here, but you fight like hell every week no matter what.”

A native of Larchwood, Iowa, Moser starred at West Lyon High School in Inwood as a prep. He went on to garner All-American honors both at the junior college (Worthington, Minn.) and Div. II (Sioux Falls College) level.

Moser spent three seasons as an assistant at Aurelia High School and two years as the Clarion head coach before joining the Dodger staff in 1979. He replaced Mike Woodley at the helm in 1989.

”I have so many people to thank, from my good friend Myron Radke (at Alta-Aurelia), to (former FDSH athletic directors) Dutch (Huseman) and Don (Miller), to (ex-head coaches) Doug and Mike, (current Dodger head coach) Matt (Miller), all of my assistants and, of course, the players,” Moser said. ”I was truly blessed to both work with and work for so many great people.

”I wouldn’t change a thing if I had a chance. It was a special time in my life, and the town of Fort Dodge has been awfully good to our family through the years. To be recognized now by my peers is a humbling feeling for this old man.”