John W. Copeland '59
John W. Copeland '59-diminutive, dynamic, and versatile-posted high marks in four sports during the late 1950s. As a sophomore he played on Coach John Pfitsch's baseball team, which revived the sport after a 41-year absence from the college. As intense as he was small, the 5'6", 148-pound athlete from Keokuk, Iowa, won the No. 4 conference singles tennis title and helped the Pioneers to the team championship in 1958. "Cope" played only two seasons of football but soon made his presence known. In his junior season he set a Grinnell total offense record of 1,042 yards and raised the mark to 1,184 as a senior. Most memorable of his exploits was quarterbacking a spectacular 21-6 upset of Coe in 1958. The undefeated Kohawks were riding an 11-game winning streak. Nicknamed "Mouse," Copeland was a mouse that roared to 216 yards total offense that day and recognition as Player of the Week by the Des Moines Register. His final season reward was a berth on the all-conference first team. In basketball Copeland was an astute playmaker and a double-digit scorer. As a measure of his leadership, this nine-letter athlete captained both the football and basketball teams as a senior. The cagers posed a 13-8 record in 1958-1959. After graduation Copeland earned a medical degree at the University of Iowa, followed by an internship in Orange County, Calif. After military duty in Vietnam, he located in northern California where he has had a family practice at Pittsburg and Antioch for 30 years. John has impressive statistics in his profession, too, having logged 35,000 hours of emergency medical duty and medical service at 500 sessions of A.A.U. boxing and countless high school football games. Copeland also has helped his alma mater by encouraging numerous student athletes to attend Grinnell.