The “Iowa Boy” is going to write a book about Iowa boys high school sports. Former Des Moines Register columnist Chuck Offenburger has been commissioned to research and compose a history of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, framed around the biography of executive director Bernie Saggau. Offenburger says Saggau has become one of the most respected, if not the most respected administrator in the nation.For 36 years Saggau has headed the organization which will celebrate its 100th anniversary on December 28th of 2004. Offenburger says another factor in Iowa’s national influence on the administration of high school sports is that they are more important here than in other states where professional and big-time college sports dominate the landscape. He says they are the entertainment in many communities and says we’re still the envy of a lot of the country for that.Saggau joined the association in 1963 after serving as a teacher, coach and school administrator. He also spent several years as a referee at the major college level. He remains a highly sought-after public speaker and has already spoken at hundreds of banquets and graduations. Offenburger says the book will be released on September first of 2004. He says he’ll probably interview some 200 people by the time the book is done. Offenburger left his job at the Register in 1998 after writing his “Iowa Boy” column for 21 years. Since then he has been teaching and doing some free-lance writing. Offenburger has penned biographies in the past, the latest on former executive secretary of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union E. Wayne Cooley in 2002. He has not settled on a title for his current project.Offenburger says the book will also include stories about many of the best athletes, coaches and teams as well as accounts of some of the most memorable games from 100 years of competition.
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