Dave Sturm, a retired teacher and football coach from Iowa who passed away on Dec. 30, was remembered by former colleagues for his brief but memorable contribution to Grand County High School football.
“Back in 2005, just after Dave had retired from coaching in Iowa, [then-GCHS principal] Tom [Brown] asked me if we could use an offensive line coach for the upcoming season,” recalled GCHS head football coach Dennis Wells. “I was excited to get an experienced coach like Dave on the staff,” Wells said.
In the fall of 2005, the only year Sturm served as an assistant coach at Grand County High, the Red Devils won the Utah state 2A football title, the school’s first and only football championship.
“He was a valuable asset to our coaching staff the year we took state,” Wells said, adding, “I learned a lot from Dave. He really knew his stuff. He was great at helping us out with our blocking schemes, and he had several different ways to block a trap play.”
“He made a valuable contribution to our program here at Grand County,” agreed Brown, who retired as GCHS principal in 2007. In the late 1970s, early in their teaching careers, Brown and Sturm taught at the same high school in Greene, Iowa.
“We were lifelong friends. He was almost like a brother to me,” said Brown, who traveled to Iowa to attend Sturm’s funeral services on Saturday, Jan. 5. “Dave was a dedicated student of the game of football.”
According to published reports in the Des Moines Register and other Iowa newspaper websites, Sturm died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest at age 65 on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tenn., where he had been working as a charter bus driver. He had driven the Iowa State University marching band to a pep rally prior to the football team’s appearance in the Liberty Bowl, when he suddenly collapsed while waiting for the pep rally to finish. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a short time later, reports indicated.
According to his obituary, Sturm’s career as an educator included 26 years at Greene High School, where he taught industrial technology and physical education. As Greene’s football coach from 1977 until his retirement in 2003, he posted a record of 165-81, a mark that included three conference titles and two district championships. He was inducted to the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011.
According to his obituary, Sturm is survived by his three daughters and their families, including six grandchildren, two brothers, and other family members.