116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CASCADE — Three constants surrounded the cross country program in this Dubuque County community for more than a half century.
There were the simple uniform tops, a navy T-shirt with the outline of Iowa in the middle, a geographically correct star representing Cascade and CASCADE CROSS COUNTRY above and below.
There was consistent success, sometimes big success.
And there was Bob Davidshofer, the architect of all of it.
“How many people can say they won state titles in five different decades?” asked Phil Kauder, a 1979 Cascade graduate. “There were a lot of kids that would have run to the end of the world and back for Coach.”
Bob Davidshofer retired Monday after 57 years coaching cross country at Cascade High School and Cascade Aquin. His teams won 15 state championships:
Boys: 1965, 1966, 1975.
Boys: 1983, 1985, 1986.
Girls: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2015.
Davidshofer announced his retirement Monday morning, ending a 57-year run.
“I’m certainly going to miss it,” said Davidshofer, who declined to specify his age but described himself as “in my 80s now.”
Davidshofer coached 15 state-championship teams — three boys’ teams at Cascade Aquin, nine girls’ teams and three boys’ squads at Cascade.
His first championship was in 1965, the last in 2015.
From Cherokee, Davidshofer arrived in northeast Iowa in the 1950s, when he attended Loras College in Dubuque.
He started teaching at Aquin High School in 1961, then moved to Cascade High School in 1976, where he taught and coached through 2009.
The Cougars swept boys’ and girls’ state championships in 1983, then did it again in 1985.
“I was gifted a lot of talented athletes,” Davidshofer said. “We had success early, and success was able to breed success. Each group wanted to do better than the group previous to it. It became kind of contagious.”
Davidshofer never married, never had his own children. He reveled in the success of other parents’ kids.
“I really enjoyed seeing athletes reach their potential,” he said. “No doubt, there were ups and downs. I told them not to get too high or too low. It was a good preparation for life.”
Davidshofer coached 64 individual girls to the state meet, including four state champions, and 52 individual boys.
He was an 11-time Class 2A state coach of year, was inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame in 1988, named National High School Coach of the Year in 1996.
He became a member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011. The group also awarded Davidshofer the Carey E. McDonald National Citation in 2019. According to the NHSAC, the honor is reserved for “a person of national renown who has made a unique contribution to high school sports, and/or the coaching profession.”