Remembering Former Cedar Falls High School Football Coach Pat Mitchell
The Iowa high school coaching fraternity has lost a legend with the passing of Pat Mitchell. He was 75.
The long-time former Cedar Falls football coach lost his year-long battle with cancer late Wednesday afternoon (February 4, 2015). Mitchell died at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he had been recently hospitalized.
Mitchell roamed the Tigers' sideline for 47 years, officially retiring in July 2014 as the fourth-winningest coach in Iowa prep history with 344 career victories. During his tenure, Mitchell led Cedar Falls to the state playoffs 25 times. The Tigers played in five championship games, winning the Class-4A title in 1986.
This video recognizes Mitchell's coaching career at Cedar Falls.
(Video Courtesy of Troy Becker via YouTube).
Since his family announced Mitchell's passing on Facebook, many of his former players and friends have been posting tributes via social media. Many are coming from outside of Iowa.
One such tribute was posted by Gregory Buehner of Kannapolis, N.C., who wrote on Mitchell's Facebook page: “Pat Mitchell you will be missed. There was and is a pride in all of us who played for you that we represented more than just Cedar Falls High School or the football team, but the very integrity and drive that is the city of Cedar Falls.”
Tom Lakin, a Cedar Falls native who now lives in Atlanta, Ga., wrote: “They simply don't come any better. A hole in all our hearts today. RIP Coach. Thanks for making a difference in my life.”
Mitchell was an Osage native, who had a standout playing career at State College of Iowa (now the University of Northern Iowa). He played both offense and defense for SCI. UNI later inducted Mitchell into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Cedar Falls Board of Education hired Mitchell in 1967. At the time, he was 27 years old. Coaching football wasn't the only thing Mitchell did at Cedar Falls. He also coached golf and taught business, driver's education and physical education during his career.
Funeral services are pending.