Hall of Fame football coach rehired by WCHS Monday

Webster City football coach Bob Howard shakes hands with Casey Kolbeck (55) late in the Lynx win over Boone last October. Howard, who resigned last November, was rehired as the Lynx head football coach on Monday. DFJ file photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — If the past five months have taught Bob Howard anything about himself, it’s that he’s not built to simply sit around and devour shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Coaching football is his passion, not idle time in front of the television. And he thinks it’s time he got back to work.

The Webster City School Board agrees with that assessment.

Howard, who resigned his post as the Lynx head football coach and retired as the school’s athletic director last November, was rehired to oversee the football program Monday night.

“I’m excited,” Howard said following the board meeting. “Now I get to do what I really want to do and that’s coach football and develop kids.”

Bob Howard (center) grins as the final seconds tick off the clock during Webster City’s win over Glenwood in a 2016 Class 3A state semifinal game inside the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. DFJ file photo/Troy Banning

Howard’s resume speaks for itself. A member of the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame for more than two decades, he currently ranks eighth on the state’s all-time wins leaderboard with 335 and his .771 career winning percentage is 11th-best in the state’s history.

Howard, who will enter his 43rd overall season as a head coach and his 13th with WCHS in the fall, has won three state championship rings and holds the distinction of leading the Lynx to their only state finals appearance in 2016. WCHS made the playoffs 10 consecutive times under Howard from 2008 to 2017.

The Lynx playoff streak ended last fall with a 5-4 record, a fact that didn’t sit well with Howard, who has led WCHS to an 84-42 record since he took over in 2007.

“I wasn’t thrilled about that,” he said. “But I’ve spent a lot of time, even more than normal, working on football since then. It showed me that I definitely have a passion and that I want to coach. It’s not just something to fill the time.”

During the winter, Howard also spent time teaching a strength program for fifth and sixth graders at Diamond In The Rough with owner and operator Dave Stoakes. Over the past month, he’s volunteered inside the WCHS weight room.

“A lot of other coaches have been involved in the weight room and that’s awesome too,” he said. “We’re going to keep it that way.”

With massive losses to graduation, Howard knows the 2019 football season won’t be easy. Expectations for the Lynx won’t be what they’ve been in recent years, but Howard is more than happy to try to prove people wrong.

“Part of the reason I came back is I’ve had people tell me we’re going to struggle and they say why do you want to do this?” he said. “We ain’t going to be 0-9, I can tell you that. I work a little better with a chip on the shoulder than pats on the back anyway and I think it’s going to be exciting.”

He’s convinced his players are ready to prove the doubters wrong as well.

“I don’t know how we’re going to do, but I know how hard I’ve watched these kids work. We had over 60 kids at speed training last week … we’re going to be as good as we can be and the winning will take care of itself.”

WCHS will open up the 2019 football season at home against Gilbert on Friday, Aug. 30.

Bob Howard, who was rehired as Webster City’s head football coach on Monday, is one of the most successful leaders in Iowa prep football history. Here’s a look at all he’s accomplished:

•A career record of 335-99 in 42 years on the sidelines.

•He ranks 8th all-time in the state of Iowa in wins.

•Stints at Scranton (22-5 in 3 years), Sigourney-Keota (229-52 in 27 years) and Webster City (84-42 in 12 years).

•A .771 career win percentage, 11th-best in state history.

•Three Class 2A state championships at Sigourney-Keota in 1995, 2001 and 2005.

•One Class 3A state runner-up finish at Webster City in 2016.

•26 playoff appearances, including 10 straight at Webster City from 2008 through 2017.