Waldorf’s Legendary Athletic Leader Announces His Retirement

Forest City, Iowa – After 47 years, Denny Jerome, has announced his retirement from Waldorf University. Jerome, who has served many different roles, graduated from what was then Waldorf College in 1970. He was the Warriors’ Director of Athletics from 1980-2010, then returned to that role from 2016-2019.

Jerome started the Women’s Basketball program and served as the head coach for 42 seasons. He won 786 games, coached 18 All-Americans, was named NJCAA Region XI Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year seven different times, the Midwest Classic Conference Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 2003-2004, and was inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2015. His coaching went beyond the hardwood, as he spent 30 seasons as an assistant football coach from 1972-2002. Jerome retired from coaching altogether in 2014, Katie Schutjer took over then and has been the bench boss since.

While serving in many capacities at Waldorf, Jerome also served the NJCAA, IAA,  and USA Wrestling on many boards and committees. Also during his time as the Warriors A.D., Jerome was honored with the Iowa Cheerleading Coaches Association Athletic Directors/Administrator Award in 1997, was named the Region VII NAIA-ADA Athletic Director of the Year in 2003-04, was named the North Star Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year in 2017-18, and was the NSAA Board of Athletic Director’s Chair from 2017-19.

Krista Van Hauen, the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at St. Ambrose, says she has modeled her program to follow what she learned from “DJ”.

Van Hauen played for the Warriors towards the end of the Junior College days. She spent one year at Simpson College and then finished at Waldorf following the change to a four-year institution.

Van Hauen took over the Fighting Bees in 2010 and has to lead the NAIA program to three national tournament appearances and a 154-91 record. She has also had to coach against her former coach and mentor, which she says wasn’t easy.

To the many players that played for Jerome, he was more than just a coach or mentor, he was a friend and family member. Van Hauen had high praise for Denny Jerome, high enough that if her father wasn’t able to walk her down the aisle, Jermoe would be her second pick.

Waldorf Assistant Athletic Director Ryan Flickinger agrees stating nobody will ever be able to replace the amount of knowledge Jerome brings to the table.

Jerome will retire in August, but he plans to be a spectator at future activities in the community.

KIOW Sports Director Zarren Egesdal had a chance to sit down for a conversation with Denny you can find that interview below.


For story ideas, you can contact KIOW Sports Director Zarren Egesdal at or 641-585-1073

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