By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – For the first time in more than 40 years Don Showalter didn’t spend his winter coaching a high school basketball squad.
That didn’t stop the former Mid-Prairie and City High coach from being around the game or ending the Iowa prep season at the state tournament.
Less than a year after stepping down at City High to end a 42-year career as a prep coach in Iowa Showalter was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame over the weekend.
Showalter won 601 games in 42 seasons as a high school coach and spent his final four seasons at City High before accepting the position of Head Coach/Youth Division Director of Coach Development for USA Basketball with USA Basketball last spring.
He joined four coaches and eight players in the 2017 Hall of Fame class that was honored at halftime of the Class 3A state title game on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“As a coach, you are humbled to be in the presence of the class that we had for the hall of fame,” Showalter said. “The Iowa High School Athletic Association did a great job and I was fortunate to have all my family here my kids and my grandkids so it’s just a special time.”
Showalter had stops at Lone Tree and Central Elkader before spending 28 years at the head coach at Mid-Prairie, winning 446 games at his alma mater.
He took over at City High before the 2012-2013 and posted a 39-52 record in four seasons leading the Little Hawks.
City High won a combined 21 games in the three seasons before Showalter arrived and posted seasons of 8, 11 and 7 wins in his first three seasons.
In his final season in 2015-2016 Showalter directed City High to its first winning season since 2008-2009 with a 13-10 record and claimed a share of the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division title.
Showalter led teams to 16 district championships and made six state tournament appearances in his career including a runner-up finish at Mid-Prairie in 2007.
He joined coaches Jim Stewart, Brad Bjorkgren, Tom Betz and Jim Eekhoff in the 2017 Hall of Fame class.
Eekhoff won a state-record eight titles as the head coach at Western Christian before retiring following last season.
“I look back on the other hall of fame groups and they were good as well but boy you take a look at the five that were in it this year there are a lot of wins there a lot of years and not only that but just a lot of really good guys,” Showalter said. “They were passionate about basketball and built great relationships of with their kids and that’s kind of what it’s about.”
Showalter wasn’t on a high school sideline this winter but he is still coaching.
After being involved with USA Basketball in some form since 1998, Showalter took his first full-time position last spring.
An eight-time developmental coach of the year and gold medal coach with 50-0 record in international competition while leading the USA Basketball U16 and U17 national teams, Showalter continues to find ways to work with youth as part of his post with USA Basketball.
“I get a really great combination of coaching with the national teams and travelling to put on clinics and camps,” Showalter said. “Part of my job is going to boys and girls clubs or YMCAs or city rec leagues and giving the coaches points on how to coach seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 year olds and I love that part of it.”