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The passing of a legend

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Former Buena Vista football coach Jim Hershberger dies at age 67.

STORM LAKE - Jim Hershberger won many football games while he coached at Buena Vista. Last Friday, he lost the battle against cancer and heart disease. He was 67 years old.

Hershberger retired in 1994 as athletic director at Buena Vista. He served 24 years at the school and was a well-respected coach throughout the Iowa Conference and around the nation.

"Hersh," as he was known by friends and colleagues, came to Buena Vista in 1970 as head football coach. He led a successful football program, compiling 18 winning seasons in 20 years, three Iowa Conference championships, two NCAA postseason bids and win in The Boothill Bowl.

Hershberger is the most successful football coach in the school's history, holding a 121-61-1 record. He was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year five times, the last coming in 1986 when Buena Vista set a team record with nine consecutive wins in a season. He was inducted into the BVU Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.

Hershberger is one of five former coaches to be inducted with the prestigious honor. Just last month, Hershberger was an assistant coach in the 2001 Aztec Bowl in Saltillo, Mexico. He joined a staff of distinguished former coaches to journey south and coach Team USA against a squad of Mexico all-stars.

Hershberger left the coaching ranks at Buena Vista in 1989 when he became athletic director.

Hershberger coached for more than 30 years, beginning his career at Janesville High School. He also coached at Algona High School and at Illinois State University as an offensive coordinator. He received his Master's Degree from Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Mo.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Schaller Chapel on the campus of Buena Vista University.

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