Former Northeastern head football coach Jerry Wasserman acknowledges the standing ovation he receives at the conclusion of a reception in his honor for all his years of coaching. Staff photo by Bill Lackey
Photo: Bill Lackey/Bill Lackey
Photo: Bill Lackey/Bill Lackey

Hall of Fame Northeastern football coach Wasserman dies at 77

He led the Jets from 1979-2005

According to a Facebook post by his daughter, Jenna Wasserman, Wasserman went to the hospital with back pain, and it was discovered he had suffered a heart attack. He died “after 12 hours of hard work by a very caring and talented cardiovascular surgery team,” Jenna wrote.

Wasserman coached Northeastern for 26 seasons from 1979-2005. His final record was 153-114. His teams made the playoffs seven times.

“It was a long ride," Wasserman told the News-Sun in 2009. "It was a lot of work for a lot of people, but it was worth it."

Wasserman’s career didn’t end when his contract was not renewed at Northeastern. He returned to the sideline at London and spent five years as an assistant with the program before being named head coach in 2011. He retired for a second time in 2014.

"I hadn't intended (to be a head coach again), it was just a matter of opportunity," Wasserman said in 2011. "When the job came open, I applied for it and the rest is history. I'm at a point in my life where I've had a lot of fun. I feel good, I feel young."

Wasserman started his coaching and teaching career at Kansas Lakota in 1963 and later coached at Mechanicsburg before being hired at Northeastern.

 

Wasserman was inducted into the Ohio Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. He was the News-Sun All-Area Coach of the Year in 1988, 1990 and 1993.

Wasserman was a 1959 graduate of Toledo Waite High School and a 1963 graduate of the University of Findlay. He was an offensive tackle at Findlay and was a NAIA All-Ohio selection as a senior in 1962.

According to his obituary, Wasserman is survived “by his beloved wife of 38 years, Libby; daughter Jenna; son Tad; son Scott (Leah) Wasserman; daughter Terri (Roger) Baldwin; brother-in-law, Jim (Joyce) Gentry; nephews John and Shawn (Connie) Gentry; niece Ruth Gentry; great nephew, Jack Gentry; great niece Natasha Gentry; grandchildren Tyler (Paige) Wasserman, Chloe Wasserman, Lynsey Cook, and Kiley Cook; as well as numerous non-biological family members and friends. He is preceded in death by his son Brett Wasserman, brother-in-law Robert Gentry, and numerous other friends.”

Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday at Littleton & Rue Funeral Home in Springfield. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Littleton & Rue. Wasserman will be laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Former Northeastern coach Jerry Wasserman

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