John Pfitsch, whose name has been synonymous with Grinnell athletics since 1948, takes length-of-service honors hands-down. Brought to Grinnell primarily as a basketball mentor, John has coached or substituted in virtually every spot during a 47-year career. In "retirement" he still directs the men's soccer program. One of many highlights for Pfitsch came at the 1989 conference soccer playoffs. His Pioneers won two shutouts and took the championship on his 70th birthday anniversary. In 21 soccer seasons Pfitsch-coached teams have won four league titles and finished runner-up seven times while posting a 163-92-23 overall record. Most memorable in 25 seasons of basketball coaching in the 1961-62 campaign in which the Pfitschmen won the championship with a 16-2 record. John also had a champion tennis team and coached baseball when it was revived in 1957. Pfitsch is justifiably proud of his role in instituting women's sports during his long tenure as athletic director. Born in Miraj, India, where is father was a medical missionary, John at age 4 became a Texan and later a four-sport 110-pound athlete at Pflugerville. After graduating from the University of Texas, Pfitsch earned his M.A. in physical education and assisted famous Coach Phog Allen at the University of Kansas before and after service in World War II. At Grinnell he helped get a $2.2 million federal loan and headed the planning committee for construction of the Physical Education Complex. The fieldhouse section is named is named in his honor. Interesting Pfitsch facts are legion, i.e.: He has served under seven Grinnell presidents; he has coached I Portugal and Panama on sabbaticals; an avid golfer, he held the Grinnell Country Club course record of 31 years for many years. To call Pfitsch a "colorful character" is an understatement but he is serious about some things. The walls of Pfitsch's office are covered with photos of teams and players. He's proud to give a litany of the players and their current professions-doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, scholars, coaches, etc. "I've been a very lucky person all my life. One of the big pluses has been my Grinnell experience and the relationships with the thousands of student-athletes I have coached," he says. He feels that he has been educated by the young people he sought to educate.