Cyclone football coaches play The Hill to raise money
By MAKAYLA TENDALL
Golfers gathered at The Hill, the golf course near Grand Junction, on Friday to see the coaches of the Iowa State football program — but also to see Cecil Rueter.
Rueter has hosted the football program’s golf outings for 13 years, and for 13 years, visitors have attended for “good times and good friends with Cecil and the coaches,” said Mel Adema, who drove from Sioux City to take part in the action.
“I told Cecil if he doesn’t invite me, I’m going to come anyway and crash the party,” Adema said.
Jay Chapman, head of the football program, said the coaches make their annual rounds to golf courses across Iowa, giving fans a chance to interact and show their support.
“We’re doing it to support Iowa State football to make sure they have everything they need to compete in the very competitive Big 12 conference. The money we raise from an event like this that Cecil helps us run helps us do that for them,” Chapman said.
While the tournament provides an overall “good time” for the coaches, Chapman said “some of them are probably better golfers than you want them to be” as football coaches.
A live auction, a silent auction, donations and contests and bets placed on different holes raise money for the upcoming season.
Anywhere from 80 to 120 visitors attend the tournament at The Hill alone, Chapman said.
The 55 acres of green hummed with golf carts chartering visitors in red and gold polos hours before the coaches arrived. Rueter said he begins preparing a week before the tournament, and the red and yellow flower beds across the course attested to the preparation.
Rueter said golfers come to take part in the fundraiser from all over the state and nation, including a golfer who flew from New York to take part in the Cyclone football fundraiser at Rueter’s golf course.
“One guy said, ‘The only one I ever come to is this one,’ ” Rueter said with a laugh. “He doesn’t golf all year.”
For the football coaches, Rueter reserves a special golf cart equipped with a trailer holding a cooler and a spigot for quick access to refreshments on the course. The octogenarian zips around the course on his own golf cart cracking jokes at the coaches’ expense, willing them to outshine each other at every hole.
After 13 years of hosting the tournament, the football coaches are not the sole attraction.
“Everyone knows the generosity of Cecil when they come,” said a volunteer at the event.
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