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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Bill Pierce’s almanac: NC’s Jerry Stannard set the standard

Gerald (Jerry) Stannard, born in Colville in 1910, had a long association with local sports. He was a three-sport star at Lewis and Clark and after graduation he attended Ottawa College in Kansas and Cheney Normal, now Eastern Washington University. While there he played football for Red Reese.

In 1934, right out of college, he became the head football coach at Whitworth College. He also served as athletic director. It was a remarkable achievement for such a young man.

Whitworth didn’t have the best of resources in those years and wins were at a premium, but Jerry served faithfully in his duties until World War II. He then left to serve in the Navy as an athletic specialist.

After the war, he returned to his football coaching duties at Whitworth. Remarkably, from 1946 through 1948, he coached baseball, basketball and football at the school, while serving as athletic director.

He stayed at Whitworth until 1950, when he became a teacher and coach at North Central. His 1951 football team won the Spokane City League title. He also served as basketball coach. His 1951 squad led by Darrell Kuelpman, Don Flemming and Rod Walker took 4th in state. NC’s only loss in the state tournament was a narrow two-point decision to Seattle Prep.

Jerry coached basketball at North Central through the 1963-64 season. Unknown to most of his friends,he had been battling leukemia for some time. He passed away in March of 1964, shortly after NC's final game of the year.

While not known for as many wins as other coaches, he was remembered for instilling a love of the game in his athletes. He always emphasized it was just as important to have fun as it was to win.

Red Reese remembered him as the best football center he ever coached. Dave Holmes said “Every break I’ve had I owe to Jerry Stannard.”  Paul Merkle, a former athletic director at Whitworth, also praised him as a mentor.

Whitworth remembers him as the father of modern athletics at the school, and posthumously installed him in their Heritage Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

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