Indian Hills Athletic Hall-of-Fame

OTTUMWA – Indian Hills Community College has announced the newest inductees into the Indian Hills Athletics Hall of Fame. The six-member class of 2022 will be officially inducted on the weekend of Jan. 21-22, 2022.

This year's class features some of the most decorated individuals in Indian Hills history spanning five decades. The inductees are Mike Hagen (men's golf coach, 2005-15), Dustin Hogue (men's basketball, 2011-13), Tamara Merseli (volleyball, 2014-16), Heather Parsons (softball, 2003-05), Ricky 'Odell' Watson (football, 1970-1972), and Jeff Zimmerman (baseball, 1990-91).

Along with the Hall of Fame inductees, Indian Hills has announced this year's recipients of the Lifetime Contribution Award. Dale and Karen Person, longtime supporters of Indian Hills and the athletic department become the fifth and sixth individuals to be presented with the prestigious honor. The Persons are owners of Ottumwa's Hindman/Person Heating & Air Conditioning.

This year's class will be recognized with a formal reception at on Friday, Jan. 21 at The Barn on the Indian Hills Centerville campus starting at 6 p.m. The class will also be recognized at halftime of the Indian Hills Men's Basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 22 followed by an induction ceremony at the Hellyer Center.

Mike Hagen – Men's Golf Coach, 2005-15

Mike Hagen led the Indian Hills Men's Golf program through its most historic era as the Warriors captured four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championships – 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Throughout Hagen's tenure in Ottumwa, the Warriors earned eight top-five finishes at the national championship. Hagen was selected as the NJCAA National Coach of the Year on four separate occasions and the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year three times.

Hagen's ability to lead his student-athletes resulted in 19 NJCAA All-Americans as well as 12 PING All-American selections. The Warriors first-ever individual national champion came under Hagen's watch as Brad Smith took home medalist honors in 2006.

Hagen, who also served as the Indian Hills Athletic Director for six years, was inducted into the NJCAA Golf Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019.

Following his time at Indian Hills, Hagen took over as the head coach at Arkansas State University where he has bolstered the program into a national contender since 2015. The Red Wolves have put together three NCAA Championship appearances, 19 tournament championships, and the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championship while boasting a .761 overall winning percentage.

Dustin Hogue – Men's Basketball, 2011-13

Dustin Hogue helped guide the Indian Hills Men's Basketball team to one of the most prominent two-year runs in program history. From 2011-13, the Warriors put together an impressive 58-8 record and placed seventh at the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DI Men's Basketball Tournament. The Warriors also claimed the 2012 NJCAA Region XI Championship and the 2012 NJCAA District XI Championship.

Hogue's leadership abilities powered the star-studded Warrior rosters. During his time at Indian Hills, Hogue was a two-time NJCAA All-Region XI Second-Team selection and finished his career with an average of 11.8 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field.

Hogue's Indian Hills career attracted the Cyclones of Iowa State University where the Yonkers, NY native concluded his collegiate career with two standout seasons in Ames. Hogue was named to the 2014 All-East Region Team after guiding the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament. Hogue's 8.4 rebounds per game as a junior ranked second in the Big 12. As a senior, the Cyclones won the Big 12 Tournament Championship and reached the NCAA Tournament. Hogue was named an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection.

Following his collegiate career, Hogue has carved out a stellar professional career overseas. For the last seven seasons, Hogue has played professionally in Greece, Italy, Russia, and Romania where he currently plays for CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca.

Tamara Merseli – Volleyball, 2014-16

The first-ever two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DI Volleyball All-American in Indian Hills Volleyball history, Tamara Merseli left her mark in the Warrior record books. In two years with the Warriors, Merseli helped lead the program to an overall record of 64-12.

Merseli earned NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American honors as a true freshman following a season that saw the Belgrade, Serbia native total 509 kills, the ninth-best single season mark in program history. Merseli followed up with an impressive sophomore campaign that resulted in second-team All-American honors. Merseli totaled 969 kills for her career, the fifth-best mark all-time at Indian Hills.

Merseli's talents at Indian Hills led her to the University of North Dakota where she joined the 1,000 dig club and posted the top two attack attempt totals in program history. At the time, Merseli left the North Dakota program with the fourth and ninth best single season kill totals. Merseli was a part of two Big Sky Tournament Championships and was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year. Merseli was also twice named to the Academic All-Big Sky Team.

Merseli's collegiate career continued at the beach level where she joined the University of Louisiana-Monroe program as a graduate student before joining the Warhawks' beach coaching staff for the 2020-21 season.

Heather Parsons – Softball, 2003-05

Heather Parsons' name is dispersed all throughout the Indian Hills Softball record books. A two-time All-American, Parsons left the Warrior program as one of the most decorated student-athletes of all-time.

As a freshman in 2004, Parsons was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DI Softball First-Team All-American squad, the NJCAA All-Region XI First-Team, and the NJCAA All-Tournament team. Parsons was also recognized as a Louisville Slugger/NFCA NJCAA DI Softball First-Team All-American. Parsons and the Warrior program reached the consolation semifinals of the national tournament.

Parsons guided the Warriors back to the national tournament as a sophomore as the No. 5 seed. Parsons was once again selected to the NJCAA National All-Tournament team and received NJCAA DI Softball Third-Team All-American honors and NJCAA All-Region XI First-Team honors.

Parsons left the Warrior program at the top, or near the top of a bevy of individual records. Parsons currently ranks first in career at bats (417), second in doubles (46), second in runs scored (151), second in stolen bases (62), tied for third in hits (175), and fifth in batting average (.455).

Parsons completed her collegiate career at Dana College in Blair, NE.

Ricky 'Odell' Watson – Football, 1970-72

During the heyday of Indian Hills-Centerville Football, Ricky 'Odell' Watson stood out as the defensive leader of the Golden Falcons. Watson becomes the seventh member of the now-defunct Indian Hills-Centerville Football program to be inducted into the Indian Hills Athletics Hall of Fame.

As a team captain during Watson's freshman season in 1970-71, Watson led the program in tackles on his way to becoming an Iowa Junior College Conference Second-Team All-Conference pick as well as a selection to the Des Moines Register's Second-Team All-Conference.

Watson once again stood out as a sophomore where he was chosen as team captain for the second consecutive season. Watson's team-leading tackles total helped garner Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Iowa conference while earning first-team all-conference and Des Moines Register First-Team All-Conference accolades. Watson was also one of three members of the team to earn National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Honorable Mention All-American honors.

Watson's sophomore campaign helped lead the Golden Falcons to the program's first-ever Iowa Junior College Conference championship.

Watson's time at Indian Hills led to the University of Dayton.

Jeff Zimmerman – Baseball, 1990-91

Jeff Zimmerman launched an impressive professional career following his time as a member of the Indian Hills Baseball squad. After a standout season in Centerville, Zimmerman moved on to Texas Christian University from 1991-93.

As a member of the Horned Frogs, Zimmerman won a team-high eight games during his senior season before embarking on an eight-year professional career. Zimmerman's post-collegiate career began in France before venturing back to the United States to compete in the Northern League as well as a spot on the 1996 Canadian National Team.

Zimmerman's pitching prowess caught the attention of the Texas Rangers and signed with the MLB club in 1998. Zimmerman's rapid rise resulted in a third-place finish in the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year voting and was named a 1999 AL All-Star. Zimmerman pitched for the Rangers for three seasons and saved a career-best 28 games in 2001 where he was named the team's Pitcher of the Year.

Dale & Karen Person – Lifetime Contribution Award

Longtime supports of Indian Hills Community College, Indian Hills Foundation, and Indian Hills Athletics, Dale & Karen Person become the fifth and sixth individuals to be receive the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award. The owners of Hindman/Person Heating and Cooling join Kelly Conrad (2017), Jack Blackwell (2016), Dr. Lyle Hellyer (2014), and Bob Traxler (2014).

The Persons are loyal fans of Warrior athletics and are regularly in attendance at home events. Along with their contributions to Warrior Athletics, the Persons are loyal supporters of the Indian Hills Foundation that helps support students throughout Indian Hills Community College.


Trending Video

Recommended for you