Spotlight on Tiger athletics during IVCCD retreat | News, Sports, Jobs | #schoolshooting

Marshalltown Community College Athletic Director John Kriebs (right) addresses the IVCCD board of directors during a retreat held in Marshalltown on Wednesday.

Marshalltown Community College Athletic Director John Kriebs provided an update on the state of Tiger sports with an eye toward the future during the Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors retreat held in Marshalltown on Wednesday afternoon.

MCC is one of six primarily Division I community colleges in Iowa — Indian Hills, Iowa Central, Iowa Western, Scott and Southwestern are the others — and the designation means that the school can offer full ride scholarships to athletes. Division II community colleges like Ellsworth, by contrast, can only offer scholarships for tuition, books, fees and up to $250 in course required supplies.

Kriebs, who presented alongside Ellsworth Athletic Director Nick Forsyth, said that in addition to MCC’s current offerings — soccer, basketball and baseball for men and volleyball, basketball and softball for women — the athletic department is exploring the possibility of expanding into bowling, golf and esports for men and bowling, golf, esports and soccer for women. Ellsworth is also considering adding sports shooting for both men and women as well as women’s wrestling, which has been exploding in popularity.

“As far as our conference goes, we are light years ahead of everybody else in terms of how we govern our sports and look at everything that we do,” Forsyth said. “The way that we operate, a lot of schools are calling us. People from other regions called us to see what we’re doing, especially in a situation with COVID coming in… We were so far ahead of everyone else.”

After fielding a question about what exactly esports entails, Kriebs explained that it’s “exactly what you’d think” — video games played competitively on high end computers. He has spoken to representatives from Iowa Central and Hawkeye Community College, as both schools have teams with between 35 and 45 members.

“We’re talking about jerseys. We’re talking about a preseason, (then) all season long. It’s quite an event,” he said.

Director Paul Pohlson asked Kriebs what the college would look like without sports, and he responded that athletic programs give MCC a “real college” feel that attracts prospective students. Kriebs then cited examples like Gonzaga University, a small Jesuit institution in Spokane, Wash., that has become famous for its highly successful basketball program, and Fresno State University, where he previously worked. According to Kriebs, enrollment and apparel sales “skyrocketed” after the Bulldog baseball team won the College World Series in 2008.

“Your sports are your front porch. If you’re doing well, the light’s on,” he said. “If something’s good and it’s in the paper, it can really snowball and bring the community together.”

Earlier in the retreat, IVCCD Director of Governmental Affairs Cindy Schulte presented on the district’s property holdings using online tools like the Marshall County Assessor’s website for MCC. According to Iowa law, community colleges must have between 160 and 320 acres of land total unless they ask for a special exemption, and currently, the IVCCD has 307 between Iowa Falls, Marshalltown and Grinnell.

Before adjourning for a brief tour of the construction on the Marshalltown campus, IVCCD Chancellor Kristie Fisher gave an update on progress and spending with regard to the $32 million bond issue.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255


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