Moser humbled by Hall honor

CEDAR FALLS – Wins and losses were never a big deal to Sam Moser during his 15 years as head football coach at Fort Dodge Senior High.

Building a relationship with his players, now that’s another story.

Moser, the second-winningest coach in Dodger football history, was inducted into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame at halftime of last night’s Class 3A state championship game.

True to form, Moser passed on all the credit to the players he coached over the years.

“It’s a heck of an honor, but it’s all because of the good people of Fort Dodge and all the kids I coached,” Moser said after the ceremony. “You don’t think about this when you get into coaching. It’s just amazing that it happened. I’m very humbled and appreciative.”

Several of Moser’s former players have gone on to coach at the high school and were in attendance at the UNI-Dome. That list included his son, Nik, who played for Sam for three seasons and returned to coach at Fort Dodge as a volunteer on current coach Matt Miller’s staff.

Miller himself is a Moser protege, having played for the veteran coach when Moser was just starting out his career in Aurelia. Miller also served as an assistant during all of Moser’s head-coaching career.

Current Dodger coaches Blake Utley, John McBride and Todd Constable also played for Moser during his career as an assistant and head coach at Fort Dodge. They were in attendance on Thursday, as well as several other Dodger coaches who worked with Moser and many former players.

Moser was also joined by a large contingent of family members, including his children – Nik, Julie Thorson and Jill Smith – and some of his grandchildren.

His wife Sharon also accompanied him to the field at halftime, and several members her family were there as well.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for my family,” Sam said. “It’s a great day for us and a great day to be from Fort Dodge.”

Moser won 57 games during his tenure, second only to Forrest Marquis, who won 74 from 1942-54. His Dodger teams reached the playoffs four times, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 1994.

Moser won conferences titles in 1989 (Big Eight) and 1994 (CIML National).

Moser was also an assistant coach on the 1981 and ’84 playoff qualifying teams. His 15-year tenure is the longest for any coach in Fort Dodge history.

A native of Larchwood, Moser starred at West Lyon High School in Inwood as a prep. He went on to garner All-America 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.