Hall of Fame coach recognized by Roundhouse donation

plaque bigger“Boys, it’s a matter of priorities” is the famous quote emblazoned on the plaque presented Sunday to honor the legendary Marshalltown High School Coach and Athletic Director George Funk.

John and Dan Becker presented the plaque during a special tribute to Coach Funk for his significant place in Roundhouse history. Coach Funk left a legacy at MHS as the boys’ basketball coach from 1963 to 1989 and the athletic director from 1968 to 1999.

Many remember attending the packed Roundhouse in the 60s, 70s and 80s when an animated Coach Funk steered the Bobcat boys’ basketball team to the State Tournament a whopping 10 times!

The bleachers next to the scorer’s table are still covered in scuffs from Coach Funk’s heels kicking in either excitement or disgust during every game!

Coach Funk had a winning record of 395-175 and a Roundhouse record of 218-50.  His overall career record at Knoxville, Ida Grove and Marshalltown was 436-237.  In 1991, he was elected to the Iowa High School Athletic Association Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dan Becker, a former player for Coach Funk and son of Bob and Sally says, “Coach Funk has had such a positive effect on the lives of so many!  That’s why my family wanted to donate to the Roundhouse Renovation with the purpose of honoring Coach Funk as well.”

Becker says Coach Funk taught his players important values that paid off on the court.  But more importantly, these values have resonated beyond basketball—through life’s successes, defeats, careers and relationships.

Coach Funk’s approach was steadfast and consistent.  Steve Cooper, another previous Bobcat player, says, “I learned from Coach Funk that five people who work together with a common plan and strategy can often times defeat more skilled players.”

Coach Funk’s formula to success included:

  • the power of teamwork.
  • the importance of a disciplined process with well-defined roles for each player
  • a core knowledge of the fundamentals—followed with consistency
  • an intense commitment to practice
  • a fierce competitiveness brought to every aspect of the game.

John and Dan Becker presented the plaque to Coach Funk’s children, Lori and Mark Funk.  Lori resides in Olathe, Kansas, and Mark in Minneapolis, Minn. (His oldest daughter Diane was unable to attend.)  Coach Funk’s wife, Phyllis, was also at the tribute. Coach Funk currently resides in the Grandview Heights Care Facility in Marshalltown.

Current MHS athletic director, Craig Huegel, says he is honored to follow in the footsteps of leaders like George Funk.

“It’s exciting to see the Roundhouse improvements and the bright Bobcat future ahead, but it’s equally inspiring to honor the past leaders and achievements of MHS!” he said.

“This special tribute to Coach Funk from the Beckers embodies the full meaning of the It’s Our House campaign,” says Gary Schaudt, co-chair for the Roundhouse Renovation Committee.  “It’s all about honoring our past and building our future!”

The plaque will now hang on the current Wall of Fame at the Roundhouse and will move to a prime location in the new Hall of Pride when the Roundhouse Renovation is complete.

To date more than $930,000 has been raised to meet the $1 million Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation challenge grant. The total cost of the renovation is projected to be $13.35 million.  The Marshalltown Community School District has committed $9.5 million.  Fundraising efforts continue to raise the remaining $1.92 million.

To make a donation to the Roundhouse Renovation, pledge forms are available at www.mhsroundhouse.com or you can donate online.  You can also follow the fundraising efforts on Facebook at Renovate the Roundhouse.  Donations are tax deductible and should be directed to Marshalltown Community School District Foundation, P.O. Box 1562, at Marshalltown, IA 50158.

Additional coverage of this story in the Marshalltown Times-Republican.