Last June, longtime Waldorf University coach and athletic director, Denny Jerome announced that after 47 years he would retire. Jerome graduated from what was then Waldorf College in 1970. He was the Warriors’ Director of Athletics from 1980-2010, and then he returned to that role from 2016-2019. Jerome officially retired in August.
Yesterday, the Forest City-based University announced that Jerome will be inducted into the Waldorf Athletic Hall of Fame this fall. Since its inception in 1997, Denny Jerome has been a vital part of the hall of fame. First as the originator of the event and then as the selection committee chair.
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 of the Warriors women’s basketball team 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.
Since 2011, seven of Jerome’s former players have been inducted into the hall. That list includes Krista Van Hauen, the women’s basketball coach at St. Ambrose University.
Van Hauen 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.
According to Waldorf, Jerome will be honored with a banquet and ceremony on Friday, October 16th at the Boman Fine Arts Center. He will also be honored one day later at halftime of the Waldorf homecoming football game when they host Valley City State University. Tickets for the banquet will be on sale soon according to Waldorf. The induction ceremony is free and open to the public and will immediately follow the banquet.