Robert Wayne Strouse

Jul 27, 2022

Robert Wayne Strouse passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at the age of 82. “Coach Strouse” was a coach, mentor, motivator, teacher, brother, loving husband, father, and grandfather. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. 

For over 30 years, Bob impacted the lives of kids through his coaching and teaching in Northwest Iowa at Terril and Milford/Okoboji. He led several teams to state playoffs in football, coached and mentored state wrestling champions and enjoyed taking his track athletes to the Drake Relays and taking home a boy’s track state title. His impact and successful career were capped off by an induction into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Iowa High School Track Coaches Hall of Fame.

After prepping at LeMars Central and serving in the US Army from 1960-63, he graduated from Westmar College in 1967 before embarking on a 30-year career as a head coach. He directed Terril for 13 seasons and coached Okoboji through 17 campaigns. His teams won six Cornbelt titles at Terril where he had five unbeaten regular seasons with two playoff appearances. From 1970-1973 Terril had the state’s longest winning streak at 32 games. At Okoboji, he coached the Pioneers to two Sioux Valley Conference crowns and a playoff appearance in 1980. He and his late brother Rich were among a handful of brothers to coach teams into the playoffs. After the 1997 season he retired with 158 career victories. Six times he won awards from the Iowa Football Coaches Association, as well as being honored by the Northwest Iowa Coaches and Westmar College as Coach of the Year. With all he accomplished on the field, some of his favorite football memories were when his former players stopped by the house on Emerald Hills to share stories, memories and catch up on their lives. He positively impacted the lives of countless young men. 

Bob’s passion for all things sports was palpable and contagious. When he was not coaching and teaching, he was watching sports. In his eyes, ESPN was the best channel ever invented. An avid Hawkeye fan, it did not matter what sport was playing as long as the Hawkeyes were on. He also enjoyed the Vikings and Twins. Ironically, his only grandson plays hockey, so he learned and watched that sport later in life as well. 

While his life largely revolved around X’s and O’s, he also found time to grill a mean steak, maintain an impeccable yard and support his daughters and their families including spending quality time with his grandkids. Later in life he simply loved to relax in his screened-in porches with the family pets and watch the golfers go by at Emerald Hills and Indian Hills. 

Bob is survived by his wife Linda, daughters Heather Deering and her husband Connor (Waukee), Janey Strouse-McGorman and her husband Jim (Los Angeles), three grandchildren: Delaney, Grady and Sydney, brother Ken Strouse and his wife Jan (Storm Lake), sister Debbie Niggemeyer (Webster City), sister-in-law Sue Strouse (Huxley) and many nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents JW (Bill) and Bertha Strouse, brother Ronald Strouse, brother Richard Strouse and sister Joyce Strouse. 

There will be a Celebration of Life open house on July 31, from 5:00-7:00, at Emerald Hills Golf Course. To honor Bob, donations can be made to the Humane Society of Northwest Iowa.