Sports, Monday, May 4th

By: Nathan Bloechl —

Former Lone Tree Standout Earns Head Coaching Gig at Wake Forest:

Wake Forest Director of Athletics John Currie has named Lone Tree native Steve Forbes the 23rd head men’s basketball coach in Demon Deacon history.

Forbes had immeasurable amounts of success at East Tennessee State, compiling a 260-77 (.722) overall record in his five years as the head coach there and at three previous community college head coaching stints.

ETSU won 130 games and two Southern Conference championships during his tenure, while all 22 of his seniors earned their ETSU degrees.

Forbes joined elite company in 2018-19, becoming one of just 10 active Division I head coaches who have reached the 100-win mark in their first four seasons.

Forbes graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in secondary education in 1988.

A former baseball student-athlete for the Muleriders, Forbes spent one year at his alma mater as the sports information director before embarking on a coaching career, which began at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa in 1989.

Drake Softballer Named MVC Scholar of the Year:

Senior Mandi Roemmich (West Des Moines, Iowa) of the Drake University softball team is the first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year as voted on by the league’s softball sports information directors, the MVC office announced last week.

This is the first year the Valley has awarded the top scholar-athlete of the year honor in softball. In addition, Roemmich and junior Nicole Timmons (Davenport, Iowa) were selected to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team while junior Macy Johnson (Winterset, Iowa) earned scholar-athlete honorable mention honors.

Roemmich is on the first team for the third straight year, joining former standout pitcher Brynne Dordel (2009-11) as the only Bulldogs to accomplish the feat.

Timmons is on the first team for the second consecutive year while this is the first MVC Scholar-Athlete honor for Johnson.

Drake finished this year with a record of 8-16 before COVID-19 abruptly ended the season in Mid-March.

Garza Picks Up Another Honor:

Hawkeye junior Luka Garza (men’s basketball) and senior Katie Burch (field hockey) have been named the University of Iowa’s 2019-20 Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

The duo will be Iowa’s nominees for the 2020 Big Ten Conference Athletes of the Year awards.

Winners will be announced at a later date.

Garza was a unanimous consensus first-team All-America selection, becoming the first Iowa men’s basketball student-athlete to earn National Player of the Year distinction by six major news outlets.

The junior center was also named the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year and has entered his name into the 2020 NBA Draft.

Garza has scored 20+ in 16 consecutive Big Ten conference games, the longest streak in the conference since 1987.

Hawkeyes Pick Up Another In-State Stud:

The Iowa Hawkeye football team picked up another hot in-state prospect when Ankeny’s Brody Brecht committed to the black and gold.

The 6’4′, 205-pounder will play receiver for the Hawkeye football team, while also playing baseball for Rick Heller’s group in the spring.

Brecht picked the Hawkeyes over Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska.

Last year, he caught 35 passes for 735 yards and seven scores for Ankeny, who finished 7-4.

On the diamond, he hit .371 with 3 home runs, 30 RBI while going 6-3 on the bump with a 2.46 ERA.