For the love of Funk

The new Hall of Fame at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse has yet to be built, but it just received one of its centerpieces.

The family of Bob and Sally Becker presented the school with a plaque Sunday honoring legendary basketball coach and athletic director George Funk.

The Beckers made a $60,000 donation to the Roundhouse renovation project and wanted to honor Funk in the process with this plaque. Their sons, Dan and John Becker, spoke at the ceremony attended by a crowd of approximately 75 people. Dan played for Funk.

“It’s an honor to do this for Coach Funk,” Dan Becker said.

Funk led the Bobcats to a record of 395 wins and 175 losses in his career and also won the state title with them in 1966. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.

Several other people talked about Funk at the event, from current school staff to his former players, but most made sure to use the word “legend” when describing him.

Funk’s teams made it to state 10 times and fans packed the Roundhouse to watch them play each week.

“We know we have a storied history and a storied past,” said MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay. “George and this gift provides that bridge (to the past).”

Denny Cahill, a former player for Funk, said the coach is “special to all of us.”

“He was a tremendous competitor and he taught that in all of us,” Cahill said.

Funk, who is now 80 years old, could not make it to the event due to his health and resides in Grandview Heights Care Facility in Marshalltown. He was represented by his wife, Phyllis, daughter, Lori Mitts, and son, Mark Funk.

“It’s a huge honor for our family,” Mark Funk said.

Phomvisay said the plaque will be placed in the current Wall of Fame at the gym and then be part of the new Hall of Fame, which will be built as part of the Roundhouse renovation.

Funk was head basketball coach at MHS from 1963 to 1989 and served as athletic director at the school from 1968 to 1999.

Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or apotter@timesrepublican.com