DECORAH – After having to wait a full year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ottumwa High School head baseball coach John Jaeger officially took his place in the Luther College Athletic Hall of Fame this past weekend.
Jaeger, a 2005 graduate of the school, took part in a formal in-person Hall of Fame induction ceremony after originally being inducted last year as part of the Luther College's Virtual Homecoming weekend. Roger Jaeger, a former assistant football coach and athletic facilities director at Luther, presented his son for induction and was recipient of the Athletics Meritorious Service Award.
On the gridiron, Jaeger finished his career as a three-time all-conference linebacker, who tallied 290 career tackles that ranked first all-time when he graduated. Twice he was selected All-West Region and was named Luther’s team MVP (2003, 2004). He was also named Special Teams Player of the Year (2001). He averaged 34.5 yards per punt during his career and his 5,562 yards ranks third all-time.
After four years in a Norse baseball uniform, he ranked first all-time on nine career statistical categories. This list included batting average (.384), hits (200), runs scored (137), RBI (127), doubles (40), home runs (26), slugging percentage (.622), pitching appearances (43) and saves (7).
Jaeger was selected first-team all-conference as a utility player (2004) and third baseman (2005).
A 2001 graduate of Decorah High School, Jaeger and his wife, Carrie (Beaver) Jaeger, a 2007 graduate of the school, live in Ottumwa with their three children, Harper (9), Elise (7) and Jensen (6).
Jaeger joined the Ottumwa High School staff in 2012 and is a physical education instructor. He is also coaching middle school wrestling and is the head baseball coach. He also serves on the Babe Ruth World Series Committee and the Babe Ruth Board in Ottumwa.
Jaeger has led the Bulldog baseball team to 201 wins in nine seasons at the helm of the program. This past summer, Ottumwa posted a 30-10 record winning a substate championship and qualifying for the Class 4A state baseball tournament for the first time since 2006.