After 40 plus years of teaching, coaching, and overseeing the Athletic Departments at Sigourney-Keota and Webster City High Schools, Bob Howard is calling it quits.
And so ends an era of teaching, overseeing, and program building that spanned parts of 5 decades and saw the old ball coach adorned with accolades on what seemed to be a yearly basis, especially at the end. After starting his career at Scranton for 3 years, Howard began as the Athletic Director at Sigourney High School in 1980, and after consolidating with Keota 7 years later, began a reign of football dominance that would include 3 state titles, and several Class 2A Coach of the Year Awards. Then, in 2007, Howard decided to move up the proverbial ladder to a job that he told Ottumwa Courier Journalist Scott Jackson was his “dream job” since he was a boy growing up in Madrid, Iowa. The Webster City Lynx were high on the high school football totem pole nearby during Howard’s youth and when he decided coaching was what he wanted to do he had a goal of reaching a program as reputable as that of Webster City.
So for the past 12 years Bob has molded young minds in the classroom, in the hallways, on the field, in the weight room, and most importantly to Howard; in preparation for life. The accolades have continued to roll in, including the school’s only State Championship appearance in 2016, and Howard’s subsequent naming as the Class 3A Iowa High School Football Coach of the Year. In 2018 Bob was named the Walt Feigel Coaching with Character Award winner. Along this final stop in WC, Howard also moved into sole possession of 8th place on the Iowa High School Football Coaches Wins list with 335 career victories.
While Bob may be retiring from his position as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, the multiple Hall of Fame inductee includes the caveat that he fully intends to continue coaching football. Howard will retire effective November 1st from both positions because his IPERS (Iowa Public Employee Retirement System) pension requires him to be fully removed from any previous job duties for a minimum of 4 months. Come March 1st, Howard will be free to reapply for the varsity head football coaching position at Webster City Community School District right around the time when school boards would normally be looking to fill that position due to the fact that positions within the district usually open up prior to the summer months. In the included audio in the story, Howard talks about his desire to continue coaching and states that he will coach somewhere next year and his number one goal is to stay with the Webster City Lynx.
In the meantime, WCHS Head Principal Brent Jorth and Vice Principal Pat Farley will share duties as Interim Athletic Director until a new full-time candidate is selected.
Here is audio from Bob Howard’s interview during the Saturday, October 20th Chalk Talk with the Coaches Show on KQWC 95.7FM. Much of the interview pertains to the 2018 Lynx football season finale at Boone as well as the season as a whole, but the final question pertains to Howard’s future in the light of his retirement and Bob speaks extensively about what went into his decision and what he hopes for the future of his career.