Hillcrest/IMS alums react to Dwight Gingerich's Hall of Fame induction

Compiled by Jeremy Ours, Hillcrest Academy
Posted 3/16/24

What they’re saying about Dwight …

  Hillcrest Academy/IMS alums react to Dwight Gingerich’s selection to the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame.


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Hillcrest/IMS alums react to Dwight Gingerich's Hall of Fame induction


What they’re saying about Dwight …

 Hillcrest Academy/IMS alums react to Dwight Gingerich’s selection to the Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

 “Such a worthy achievement for this great coach!  For so many years Dwight has achieved the very challenging balance of relating to young men by being very easy to approach as a friend, but also carrying the authority he needed to teach solid skills to us that laid an amazing foundation for higher levels of success in the game of basketball.  I also appreciate the tools he equipped me with for coaching in ANY sport.  Congratulations Dwight!”

--Ryan Hosteter ‘90

“Dwight Gingerich is one of the best coaches I ever played for. Teaching the fundamentals of basketball is a skill that not all coaches have.  Coach Dwight did it in a way that helped us understand why we were learning it and why it would help our team more importantly. Dwight always has a way of getting the best out of every single individual on the team and totally understanding your role on the team, as well.  That’s what has made his teams reach levels we may not have all expected over the years. Thanks for everything Coach, I appreciate you!”

--Jason Hershberger ‘92

“Being in the huddle with Coach Gingerich was akin to scoring 10 points in warmups. He was our hidden (or not-so-hidden) advantage that showed itself throughout the next four quarters. Coach Gingerich's meticulous attention to detail, rigorous preparation, in-game adjustments, and the power of our collective system instilled a confidence within us that was pivotal for winning games. …  Coach Gingerich didn't just prepare us to win games; he prepared us for life. His induction into the Iowa Boys High School Basketball Hall of Fame is a testament to the profound impact he has had on all of us, shaping not just players, but individuals ready to face the world with determination and grace.”

--Jeremy Pickard ‘94

“Dwight is very good at the X’s and O’s of the game of basketball. This was something I learned as one of his former players. When I became a head coach I used a lot of his coaching philosophy with my own teams, which helped me have a lot of success.”

--Stephen Bender ‘97

“Dwight has been not only a fantastic coach, but also a life-long friend, mentor, and advocate.  I’m so very grateful for his presence in my life.”

--Doug Hochstetler ‘84

“You are incredibly deserving of this honor! Thank you for all the hours and hours of time you poured into me as a player, and more importantly, as a person. I will never forget the hierarchy of importance you repeated to us from basketball camps as a kid, to our senior year in high school: Faith - Family - School - Basketball. You helped many young men develop on the court but also made it your mission to foster good character off the court. I am incredibly grateful to have learned from you, Dwight. Congratulations!”

--Tony Hostetler ‘06

“Growing up as a child and sports fan, the only thing I ever wanted to do was to play basketball for Dwight and play at the state tournament. I was fortunate enough, under Dwight's coaching, leadership, mentorship and friendship, that I was able to do both of these things. I am forever grateful. Cheers to you Dwight on your induction into the IHSAA Hall of Fame!”

--Clark Oswald ‘98

“As a young, untested coach in charge of coaching the boys JV, Dwight was a tremendous mentor and guide to me. We spent many hours talking about drills, strategy, and team-building. His passion for basketball is evident, but his highest priority has always been the welfare and growth of his student-athletes.”

--Merrill Miller ‘78, assistant coach 1984–89

“Dwight instilled in me that hard work and determination will lead you through anything in life. I have memories that will last a lifetime playing under Dwight.”

--Justin Boller ‘13

“Dwight promoted teamwork and work ethic for and from everyone, whether you were a significant contributor or a player who mostly contributed during practices to help prepare the team for the upcoming games. Dwight expected everyone, from the starting players to the reserves, to be prepared and help prepare each other. We were to be one team. All together for one purpose. That belief has carried over to what I try to do in my everyday life.”

--Ryan Schrock ‘99

“As an adult, I look back and can appreciate more the ‘tough’ love I received from Coach Dwight while playing for him.  Coach Dwight knew what my potential and abilities were and strived to bring the best out of me. The lessons I learned from Coach Dwight on the basketball court are still being applied in my life many years later.”

--Nathaniel Miller ‘02

“One thing that I admire about Dwight, but didn’t immediately realize as a player is his ability to lead and get the most out of everyone, for the greater good of the team. Over the years as I’ve grown my family and progressed my career, I realize more and more the importance of this skillset and appreciate the example Dwight set for me and the many other players he’s coached over the years.”

--Del Borntrager ‘05

“Dwight has always known how to get the best out of each of the players that he’s coached. He’s not only a Hall of Fame coach, he’s a Hall of Fame mentor.”

--Payton Miller ‘15

“Dwight helped me to grow as a basketball player, but more importantly he helped me grow in being a man of character, hard work and respect for others. His impact on me and others goes way beyond the basketball court, which is what makes him such an incredible coach.”

--Jordan Prihoda ‘07

“It is an honor to have been a small part of Dwight's storied coaching history and to have learned the fundamentals of basketball and building incredible teams from him. As players, Dwight showed us how to maximize our individual strengths, how to support each other through highs and lows, and instilled values of humility and community that I am incredibly grateful for to this day.”

--Thomas Davis ‘06

“Great teams are built around individual team members that are more interested in the accomplishments of the team than their own personal achievements. Our teams weren’t the tallest, fastest or most athletic, but Dwight brought out the best in us as individuals and masterfully unified us as a team. There have been many great Iowa High School basketball coaches, but in my opinion, Dwight is the GOAT!”

--Jeremy Yoder ‘92

“I played for Dwight for three years from 2001-2004 and then 10 years later had the privilege to be one of Dwight's assistant coaches for four seasons. Coaching alongside Dwight, I realized how much time, preparation and energy all went into every season for Dwight. The four seasons coaching with Dwight highlighted how prepared Dwight had his teams for every game. Whether it was a game against a conference rival that we played two or three times per season or an opponent from the other corner of Iowa that we played in the state tournament, we were always prepared for what that team wanted to do.”

--Luke Yoder ‘04

“I loved playing for Dwight. Giving less than my best effort felt like letting him down.”

--Levi Ney ‘08

Hillcrest Academy, Dwight Gingerich, Iowa Mennonite School, Hall of Fame