2023 Quincy Notre Dame Hall of Fame inductee: John Sparrow

John Sparrow Playing Days Picture copy

Editor’s Note: Quincy Notre Dame will hold its Hall of Fame induction ceremony at approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday between games of the 2023 QND Tip-Off Tourney at The Pit. Below is the biography used by the QND Hall of Fame committee to honor one of this year’s inductees.

QUINCY — John Sparrow, a 1995 graduate, was recognized more for his defensive prowess as a football player at Quincy Notre Dame, but he certainly enjoyed plenty of collegiate and professional success on offense.

Sparrow’s six interceptions as a defensive back during his senior year helped the QND football team finish with a 10-1 record, a No. 1 ranking in the Class 2A state poll and the school’s first playoff victory since 1974. Sparrow, a first-team Herald-Whig All-Area defensive performer, also caught 26 passes that season.

At Iowa Wesleyan College, Sparrow ranks seventh all-time for career receiving yards with 1,702, and he ranks fifth all-time for career receptions with 148. He scored 15 career touchdowns. He caught 62 passes for 789 yards in 1997 and 68 passes in 1998. He was a second-team member of the Mid-States Football Association team and an all-Midwest League receiver in 1997 and 1998. He was an NAIA preseason All-American and an NAIA honorable mention All-American in 1998.

Sparrow played two seasons in the Indoor Professional Football League, playing for the Lincoln (Neb.) Lightning in 1999 and the Billings (Mont.) Thunderbolts in 2000.

Sparrow lives in Burlington, Iowa. He and his wife Jamiee have three children — Brooklyn, Tuscany and Langston. He is a teacher in the VIBE program in the Burlington Community School District. 

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