Small College Sports

Steve Staker, beloved Coe College and hall of fame Iowa high school football coach, dies at 76

Death comes little over a week after touching tribute

Former Coe College and Fredericksburg High School Coach Steve Staker is embraced by his daughter Shannon Cook in Lisbon,
Former Coe College and Fredericksburg High School Coach Steve Staker is embraced by his daughter Shannon Cook in Lisbon, IA on Sunday, Apr. 19, 2020. Staker was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer in March and a convoy of over 200 cars filed past his home in a show of support.

CEDAR RAPIDS — So many cars drove by his home in Lisbon a week ago Sunday to show their love and support. It turned out to also be a goodbye.

Beloved Coe College and hall of fame prep football coach Steve Staker died Tuesday at the age of 76.

Staker was diagnosed a month and a half ago with Stage 4 gallbladder cancer and told by his oncologist two weeks ago that treatment would be discontinued. The family staged a tribute for him, asking well wishers to drive past he and wife Linda’s house.

The coach sat in a reclining chair at the end of his driveway as approximately 250 cars stopped briefly to say hello and give him their best. Staker had been serving as a defensive line coach for his son, Tyler, at Coe after being the Kohawks’ head coach through 2015.

Staker spent multiple decades teaching and coaching at Fredericksburg before “retiring” and coming to Coe, where all five of his children graduated. Fredericksburg won the Class A state championship in 2001.

Staker is survived by wife, Linda, sons Cody, Shane, Lance and Tyler, and daughter, Shannon Cook.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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