FAYETTE, Iowa (February 8, 2008) - On Tuesday, Feb. 12, Upper Iowa University Athletic Director Gil Cloud will be inducted into the Union High School Hall of Fame in Tulsa, Okla. Cloud served as the district athletic director at Union High School for 15 years (1976-91) and is the originator of its hall of fame.
Cloud explained the purpose of a hall of fame at this level is to recognize state-champion individuals and teams, but is also similar to the collegiate level in that it is a venue for fundraising. "When I was the athletic director at Union, the area was one of the fastest-growing in Tulsa at the time," explained Cloud. "A lot of money was needed to support their athletic program."
He said the high school population grew from 500 to 2,200 students in 15 years. "I learned a lot about facilities and construction during my time there," said Cloud. "By the time I left, we had built an 11,000-seat stadium and a 3,000-seat arena, installed the first artificial turf on our football field, and had the first corporate sponsors ever buying signage on our baseball and softball fences."
Academic achievement has always been a big part of Cloud's philosophy in turning out a quality athlete, both then and now. In addition to facilities and equipment at Union, Cloud implemented mandatory study hall rules and paid for student tutors out of corporate sponsorship funds.
Mandatory study hall and tutors are two concepts Cloud still insists on in the athletic program at Upper Iowa University today. "The results are obvious," said Cloud. "At one of our recent Upper Iowa basketball games, we honored 169 student-athletes for holding a 3.0 G.P.A. or better." He added, "In addition, several of our teams were recognized this year by the NSIC conference for academic achievement."
Cloud graduated from Rogers High School in Tulsa, earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from the University of Tulsa (1969), and a master's with an emphasis in education administration from Kansas State University (1973). He has seven years experience coaching football and 32 years as an athletic director, six of those at Upper Iowa University.
Cloud said one of the first things he chose to do when he started at Upper Iowa was to move its Hall of Fame out into the lobby of Dorman Gymnasium for the benefit of current and prospective students, as well as alumni who come back for games. "With alumni like Mike Eischeid, Jim Day and Terry Stevens, all three All-Americans, and Jim Bushkofsky, who was Player of the Year, they need to be showcased," said Cloud. "We have had some great talent graduate from Upper Iowa."
He recalls Union High School also graduated some good athletes, including nine high school students from a single senior class to Division I schools. "For Union High School to remember me and give me this honor, means a lot to me," said Cloud. "I have a lot of fond memories from there, too."
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu. For the UIU Athletics Web site, go to www.upperiowaathletics.com.