Wiebers Receives Bernie Saggau Award of Merit

Rollie Wiebers '79, a multi-sport athlete at Buena Vista, is one of three who will receive the Bernie Saggau Award of Merit at halftime of Friday night’s 4A boys basketball state final.

By Jerry Giese
Courtesy Sioux City Journal

Former Sioux City West High School standout Kirk Hinrich is one of three Northwest Iowa natives who will receive honors at the state boys basketball tournament Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

Hinrich and Dennis Pauling of Paullina are two of the nine who will be inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s boys basketball Hall of Fame at halftime of the Class 3A state championship game. Rollie Wiebers, a multi-sport athlete at both Denison High School and Buena Vista College, is one of three who will receive the Bernie Saggau Award of Merit at halftime of Friday night’s 4A state final.

Hinrich led West to consecutive Class 4A state basketball tournament berths in 1996, 1997, 1998 and then posted a 23-point scoring average for the Wolverines’ 4A title team of 1999. The son of then-West Coach Jim Hinrich remains as the school’s all-time leader in points, assists and steals and in 1999, shared the state’s Mr. Basketball award with Iowa Falls’ Nick Collison, another of Friday’s IHSAA basketball inductees.

A first-team 4A all-stater in 1998 and 1999, Hinrich then enjoyed a stellar four-year run at Kansas, which twice reached the Final Four and won two Big 12 Conference titles. The two-time All-American was then the seventh overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft for the Chicago Bulls, where he became the franchise’s all-time leader in three-point goals. Hinrich also made NBA stops with the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks.

As a four-year starting post, Pauling helped Paullina High School win 74 games. The 1962 graduate averaged nearly 20 points and 20 rebounds as a junior and senior, ending his prep basketball career with 1,452 points.

Pauling was also part of an undefeated varsity football team and helped Paullina win a Class B state track championship, where he medaled in the football throw and helped win the 880-yard relay. An exemplary student-athlete and leader, Pauling became a two-year football starter at the University of Iowa, where he won the Nile Kinnick Scholarship and Big Ten all-academic honors.

Wiebers was a multi-sport athlete from his early days at Denison. Following his 1975 high school graduation, he played football, basketball and baseball at Buena Vista. On the gridiron, he was the national leader in total offense while winning All-American honors in 1976.

Wiebers began his career in education at Charter Oak-Ute in 1979, serving as a teacher and coach until 1992. After a brief stint as a principal and activities director at Manson-Northwest Webster, he returned to Charter Oak-Ute, where he served as principal and activities director from 1997 to 2003 and has been superintendent since 2004.

A two-team IHSAA Representative Council member and Board of Control member, Wiebers has also been an influential football advisory member and has officiated four championship basketball games.