Bernie Saggau, often referred to as Iowa's favorite son, has enjoyed great success as a teacher, coach, principal, business
man, public speaker and for more than 38 years was the Executive Secretary of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Additionally, Saggau refereed high school and college basketball and football for more than 30 years. He is past president of the National Federation of State High
School Associations, was the Chairperson for the National Basketball
Rules Committee for eight years, served on the Football Rules
Committee for 25 years, was appointed to the United States Olympic House of
Delegates Committee, and is a recipient of the National High
School Coaches Distinguished Award. He currently is a trustee of Buena
Vista University and a consultant to the Iowa Hall of Pride.
The Board of Control of
the Iowa High School Athletic Association in 1989, established The Bernie Saggau award. This coveted award honors an outstanding citizen athlete in every
one of the 400 high schools in the State of Iowa.
Mr. Saggau was
awarded the Award of Merit from the National High School Athletic
Directors Association the highest honor that organization presents to
one individual a year. In 1996 he was selected as on of the top 20
individuals in the last 20 years to do the most for improving
officiating in our country by Referee Magazine.
Mr. Saggau most recently received the American Tradition Award, only the second individual to receive this prestigious award.
Saggauís vision to build a $13 million, 26,000 square foot, Hall of
Pride to showcase the achievements of all Iowans became a reality when
it officially opened in February 2005 in Des Moines, Iowa. Designed to
pay tribute to families and students from across the state, from
student athletes to sports legends, movie stars to scientists, to
community leaders, the Iowa Hall of Pride has been a true labor of love
for Saggau, who began plans for the Hall nearly ten years prior to itís
completion. Although Saggau officially retired from the IHSAA in
January of 2005, he still plays an active role as a consultant to the
Hall of Pride. It is truly one of his and the IHSAA's greatest gifts back to the state of Iowa, and is one of the finest signatures
of his illustrious career.