After serving sixteen years as Jefferson’s head football coach, exit Jack Fisk, enter 35 year old Bill Calloway. His resume offered promise of new beginnings and innovation. A UNI football player and grad, Calloway immediately began service as an assistant coach to head Panther Stan Sherriff for two years in Cedar Falls. He then joined Wally Sheets at Cedar Rapids Washington as Warrior offensive coordinator from 1974-79. Bill also served as head boys track coach winning a state title with the Warriors in 1977.
Bill was selected from a field of over 30 applicants, seven of which were interviewed by principal William C. Jacobson. WCJ was seeking a fresh start with an emphasis on cutting edge training techniques. Calloway had a sound reputation for offensive imagination and promised to use a Tri-Power weight training program to build speed, strength and stamina. His first varsity staff included Denny Kohl, Bob Allen and Sean Shanahan. They welcomed back 14 lettermen including a promising backfield of Steve Wise (quarterback), Dave Bishop (fullback), and tailbacks Dave Peterson and Al Schmitz.
As is so often true of first year programs, the offense exhibited growing pains in three of the four opening contests, effectively shut down by strong units from Waterloo East, Hempstead and Senior. A breakout win over City High eased the slow start, but decisive losses to Washington and Wahlert left the J-Hawks at just 2-5 entering the home stretch against Kennedy and IC West. Calloway’s offense found its footing and erupted on the Cougars and Trojans producing positive feelings for future success in the off-season and beyond. Gazette writer Chip Marshall included this Calloway reflection after week 9: “It’s been a tough year. It’s a tribute to our kids for hanging in there, especially after an 0-2 start. But we made a lot of progress toward the tail end of the season and we hope the enthusiasm will carry over.”
Post Season Honors:
Second Team All-State: Pat Robinson NG | also 1st Team MVC
HM All-State: Kevin Lighty DB | also 2nd Team MVC
2nd Team MVC: Bob Driscoll E
2nd Team MVC: Kevin Zacek OL