CLEVELAND — The high school football community is mourning the passing of legendary football coach Bill Gutbrod. The 87-year-old passed away Thursday morning.
Gutbrod, who was inducted into the VASJ Hall of Fame in 1987 while he was still coaching the Vikings, won 268 games in his career. Also a revered teacher, Mr. Gutbrod guided the lives of countless young people, many of whom went on to achieve great careers in both collegiate and professional football.
Former Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard starred for coach Gutbrod on offense and defense. Howard was just one of many to move on to greater things while playing for Gutbrod during his 41 seasons at the helm of the St. Joseph high school team. Others to head to the pros included Tommy Schoen, Elvis Grbac, and the Golic brothers, Mike and Bob. Many other players who were taught how to play the game by Coach Gutbrod went on to have successful coaching careers.
Gutbrod won seven Crown Conference Championships and had five undefeated seasons. His 1989 team won the state title in Division II.
On the school website, Coach Gutbrod was thought of in this way:
“Known for his passion as well as his talent and zeal as a teacher, Coach Gutbrod was an inspirational force for his players, his students, his colleagues and fans. He embodied the spirit of what it means to be a Viking, and his memory remains etched in the minds and hearts of all of us whose lives he so deeply touched.”
Services are pending.