Largest Field in Years Turns Out for Hershberger Classic
The Hershberger Classic brings together former BVU football players for a day of golf. Tremendous turnout this year leads to more than $10,000 raised for the Beaver Football program.
Eighty-five participants, the largest field in years, reported to Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek on a picture-perfect Friday in July for the Annual Hershberger Classic.
Golfers, nearly all of them former Beavers football players, came from Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, and all over Iowa to compete in the 4-person best shot while trading stories, renewing friendships, and raising in excess of $10,000 for the BVU Football Fund and the Hershberger Endowment, which serves a variety efforts within the football program.
“Funds have helped purchase workout gear and have helped with travel costs in recent years,” says BVU Head Football Coach Grant Mollring. “This year, a focus was to help our stipend coaches.”
“I remember meeting ‘Hersh’ early in my time at BVU, probably the first time I was in the office. I absolutely embraced him and everything he stood for at BVU, his love for the game, his love of coaching young people, and his love for BVU.”
Joe Hadachek, former BVU Football Head Coach
Former Beaver First-Team All-American Keith Kerkhoff ’77 provided his talent as auctioneer as a variety of items were sold to benefit the program. Dee Lewis donated the letter-jacket worn decades ago by her late husband, Al Lewis, a fixture in the BVU program for decades.
The event is named for the late Jim Hershberger, who coached BVU football from 1970 to 1989, compiling a 121-61-1 mark over two decades. Former players Dan Phillips ’77, Doug Thompson ’81, Brad Jones ’77, and Tim Anderson ’83 helped get the Hershberger Endowment started, an effort highlighted by a plaque at the entrance of J. Leslie Rollins Stadium/Peterson Field.
The Hershberger Classic traces its origins to former BVU Head Coach Joe Hadachek, who coached the Beavers from 1996 to 1999.
“We started a football outing in golf when I was there, but we called it the BVU Gridiron Classic,” says Hadachek, who earned a state title as a head coach at Union-LaPorte High School in 2011. “When I left, it was either Coach Steve Osterberg or Coach Jay Anderson who renamed it to honor Coach Hershberger, which was so fitting.
“I remember meeting ‘Hersh’ early in my time at BVU, probably the first time I was in the office,” Hadachek remembers. “I absolutely embraced him and everything he stood for at BVU, his love for the game, his love of coaching young people, and his love for BVU.”
“Coach Hadachek reached out to the former players of Coach Hershberger to get this going and the coaches in the ensuing years, including Coach Mollring, have really worked to keep it going,” says Phillips, a member of Hershberger’s victorious 1975 Boot Hill Bowl team.
“Coach Hershberger was so popular in the coaching community,” Phillips continues. “He had a number of opportunities through the years to take positions at higher levels in football, both collegiately and professionally, but he loved being in Storm Lake and at BVU.”
Mike Hershberger ’91, an all-conference defensive back who lettered on four of his father’s teams, was among the participants in the event at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek.
“We can’t say enough about the turnout we had,” says Mollring. “And Joe Powell and his staff at BVU Lake Creek did a great job taking care of everyone. We’re already making plans for next year!”