Athletic Hall of Fame – 2012 Inductees
Scroll to see all biographies from this induction class.
Coach / Inducted in 2012
Don Wolfe coached at Marion High School from 1928 through 1936, compiling one of the best football records among all Marion coaches.
Wolfe’s record in eight football seasons was 50-16-4, a .743 winning percentage that ranks third all-time at Marion. His teams won four Tri-Valley Conference championships, and his top teams finished 8-0-1 (1930), 8-1 (1932), 8-0-1 (1933), and 9-0 (1935). Newspapers rated these teams among the best in the state. Wolfe’s Marion teams outscored their opponents 935 to 283 and put together a 20-game winning streak from 1929 to 1931. He turned out twenty players who won All-State honors. Newspapers often referred to his players as “Wolfemen.”
In eight years of coaching track at Marion, Wolfe’s squads won three consecutive conference championships. He also coached basketball for six of those eight years
After leaving Marion, Wolfe coached football, basketball, track, and golf at Cedar Rapids Roosevelt until the late 1940s. He served as a naval officer during World War II. He received a master’s degree from Stanford, where he was also an assistant basketball coach. A longtime member of the Naval Reserve, he was called back into service during the Korean War.
Wolfe was a native of Toledo, Iowa, who lettered in football and other sports at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College. He was also an outstanding golfer who won many tournaments in the Cedar Rapids area.
Community Member / Inducted in 2012
Bill Robinson was a school bus driver in the Marion Independent School District for 33 years. Bill currently is enjoying his position as an associate.
During his 33 years as a bus driver he drove many of the athletic teams to their competitions. Bill drove the teams safely to their competitions and is one of the biggest fans and supporters of the student-athletes. His wife Darlene (known as “mom” to many) would escort him on many of those trips as a chaperone keeping the team stocked up on treats, candy, and gum.
Bill had the honor of being the 2009 Community Representative for the Marion volleyball program at the State Volleyball Tournament. Bill was also the Grand Marshall in 1999 for the Marion Homecoming celebration.
Community Member / Inducted in 2012
Lyle devoted more than 30 years to giving Marion boys an opportunity to play on a team.
In the 1940s and 1950s, before Little League existed in Marion, Lyle organized and coached softball teams and leagues, paying for equipment, sometimes scheduling games with teams from other towns, and arranging transportation. He did this for more than ten years with virtually no help. Hundreds of boys participated.
When Little League baseball came to Marion, Lyle created bowling leagues for youngsters. He arranged awards dinners at the Presbyterian Church, raising money to buy trophies. Parents brought food for the dinner, which Lyle emceed. He did this for about 20 years.
Lyle regularly attended high school sporting events and was named an honorary member of the MHS Booster Club. By the time he was 68, in 1985, he was still running a bowling tournament for kids at Starry Elementary School. When he retired that year, the mayor proclaimed “Lyle Touro Day.” Among his honors was a plaque from residents reading “Lyle Touro – Benefactor of Youth.”
Athlete / MHS Class of 1978 / Inducted in 2012
Cindy Anderson participated in track, gymnastics, and volleyball while at Marion High School.
In track, Cindy has many accomplishments and records. She was a state champion in the 220 hurdles in 1977. She placed third at state in the same event in 1978. Cindy was a member of the Marion’s all-time best 4×100 relay team which was the Drake Relays Champion in 1977. This team also finished 2nd at Drake in 1976, 3rd at state in 1976, and 2nd at state in 1977. Cindy is also a member of the Marion’s all-time best 4×200 relay team (set in 1977). She also has the 2nd best long jump and 5th best 100-meter hurdle efforts in Marion school history.
Cindy was a four-year member of the Marion High School gymnastics team. She set records in all five events (floor exercise, tumbling, uneven bars, beam, and vaulting) during her four years of competition. She was the team’s leading scorer and Most Valuable Gymnast her last three seasons.
Cindy went on to run hurdles and sprint relays on a track and field scholarship at Northeast Missouri State.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1956 / Inducted in 2012
Jerry Cox was a multi-sport standout at Marion High School.
In football, Jerry was selected seventh team All-State by the Des Moines Register as a senior, playing as a 6’-2”, 175-pound tackle on offense and defense. That year only 77 players on seven 11-man teams from a pool of about 600 schools were recognized. Jerry played on teams that won two consecutive conference championships with an overall record of 17-1. The 1955 team finished with a 9-0 record and was ranked 11th among all high schools in the state.
Marion won WaMaC Championships in basketball in Jerry’s junior and senior years. As a junior he was named second team All-State by both the IDPA and Des Moines Register, being selected from over 900 schools in the state. Jerry’s All-State citation notes that he was an outstanding rebounder and defensive player, and he ranks high in several categories of school basketball records.
Jerry received basketball scholarship offers from several major universities. Foregoing college, he went on to have a successful AAU basketball career.
(Jerry passed away in December 2016.)
Athlete / MHS Class of 1970 / Inducted in 2012
Rick Danford was the first Marion wrestler to win a state championship and one of only three Indian wrestlers to have achieved that distinction through 2012. He also lettered in football and track.
As a senior, wrestling at 115 pounds, Rick placed second in the WaMaC championships, held midway through the season. At the end of the season, he won the sectional and district titles to qualify for the Class AA state finals. Rick marched through the state meet undefeated to win the state championship, finishing the season with a 25-6 record. Rick was named to the first team All-Metro wrestling squad, and is a member of the Marion High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In track, Rick won the WaMaC championship in the long jump during his junior year with a leap of 21’-0 ½”. His personal best of 21’-3” was, at the time, fourth best in school history.
After high school, Rick joined the Army and served in armored units. He deployed to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and retired after twenty-six years of service. Following his Army career Rick worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1956 / Inducted in 2012
Darell Failor was an outstanding athlete who earned 10 varsity letters while leading his football and basketball teams to four WaMaC championships and winning five individual and relay conference championships in track.
As quarterback, he led his football teams to two straight undefeated WaMaC Conference championships, with the team going 17–1 overall. There were no post-season playoffs in those days. The 1955 team was ranked eleventh in the state among 600 schools of all sizes, outscoring its opponents by 299–44.
In basketball, Darell’s teams won WaMaC Championships his junior and senior years, losing only one conference game, and finishing with an overall record of 44–5. He is one of the top all-time scorers at MHS with 933 career points.
In WaMaC Conference track meets, he won two individual championships in the 440-yard dash, anchored two championship mile relay teams and anchored an MHS school record-setting two-mile championship relay team. He won the same events at the district meet, but did not go on to state because of work commitments.
Darell was recruited by the University of New Mexico, then transferred to the University of Dubuque. There he suffered a knee injury that ended his athletic career.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1936 / Inducted in 2012
William R. (Junior) Reed was an outstanding athlete who became a highly decorated fighter pilot during World War II.
In his senior year, Junior Reed was named second team All-State in football by the Des Moines Register. In those days players from some 600 schools of all sizes were considered for the honor and only eleven players were chosen for each team.
That year, Reed played single wing halfback, called the plays, and was the leading scorer on the Tri-Valley championship team that went 9-0, scoring 198 points and allowing only two opponents to score a total of 15 points.
Reed was a three-year varsity player in basketball and the team’s leading scorer as a senior
Reed attended Loras College for two years, playing football and basketball.
When war broke out in 1941, Reed immediately joined the Army Air Force. Stationed in North Africa, he flew more than 50 missions over enemy territory, attained the rank of major and served as squadron leader.
Reed returned to Marion where he was involved in community activities. An outstanding golfer, Reed won several local championships.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1959 / Inducted in 2012
Mike Smith was an all-around athlete who earned 10 varsity letters – three each in football and basketball and four in track.
In football Mike was named fourth team All-State as a running back and defensive back by both the Des Moines Register and by the IDPA. That year only 44 players on four 11-man teams were recognized from a pool of about 600 schools.
In his senior year Marion went undefeated (9-0), and gave up only 38 points. Mike ranks high in the MHS record book in several offensive categories.
Mike was a three-year starter on the basketball team, which won WaMac championships in his junior and senior years. He is one of Marion’s all-time leading scorers, with 726 career points.
In track, Mike set the school record in the 440-yard dash.
Heavily recruited by major college football powers, Mike went to Iowa to play football for Forest Evashevski under a full scholarship, but suffered a knee injury his freshman year that ended his athletic career.
Athlete / MHS Class of 1971 / Inducted in 2012
Mark Witte was a four-sport athlete who earned 10 varsity letters in football, basketball, track, and baseball.
In football as a senior, Mark was named first team All-WaMaC and All-State honorable mention at running back. Mark ranks first in the school football record book for career punting average and is among the leaders in several rushing categories.
Mark was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team. In his senior year, he was first team All-Conference. He ranks high in several all-time school basketball record categories.
In track, Mark ran on several excellent relay teams, including the two-mile team (which included Mark’s brother Bruce) that set a school record and won the WaMaC championship in 1971.
As a senior, Mark won the Indian Award in basketball and track – given to recognize the most valuable player in each sport.
Mark attended Midland College in Nebraska where he had an outstanding basketball career. He lettered all four years, scored more than 1,000 points, served as captain two years, and was first team All-Conference as a junior and senior. He was named first team Lutheran College All-American and first team NAIA Region 11 All-American as a senior.