Xavier’s Dave Gearhart has served as a statistician for 50 years

Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 7:20 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - History is important to Dave Gearhart, but so are numbers. This 1971 graduate of Cedar Rapids LaSalle began tracking the team’s statistics. First it was basketball, but it didn’t stop there.

“The football coach said, hey, would you be interested in doing stats because the high school kids were doing it. They weren’t real accurate, their buddies had really good stats,” Gearhart said.

He said he was handed a stat book and 50 years later, he’s still scribbling down all the numbers for the Xavier Saints.

“Well, I just enjoy high school athletics. I wasn’t a good football player in my day because I was 5′8 and 135 pounds, but I just enjoyed going to the games,” Gearhart said.

Xavier opened in 1998 and has only had one football coach in Duane Schulte. Gearhart has not only tracked stats all these years for Coach Schulte, but he was even a number cruncher well before that, when the coach was a player.

“My wife’s put up with a lot for the last 41 something years,” he said. “Football sometimes comes first,” he added.

Earlier this season, Xavier honored Gearhart for his work as a volunteer over the past five decades. Work that’s made this behind-the-scenes kind of guy a well known face in the community.

“You know now everywhere I go, people will start talking to me and my kids go, ‘we can’t go anywhere without you know somebody.’”

After doing it for so long, he’s got his pregame routine figured out.

“I hand out gum to all the coaches,” he said.

It’s always blue and white, Xavier’s colors.

Then, there’s the hair.

“I get it cut fairly short the week before the first game and I go until we lose. The last few years, it’s been 13 weeks without a haircut,” he said.

He says it’s worth it as the Saints played in their second consecutive state championship game. He also said it’s not done yet.

“Duane and I have a pact. We’ll do it until he decides to hang it up. Then, we’ll go from there. People ask me when he’s going and you know, I say you have to talk to Duane.”