The Obit For Rich Vanderloo

Former East High AD, coach Vanderloo dies

By Barry Poe
Sioux City Journal
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011


SIOUX CITY -- When it comes to high school athletics, few were as tireless an advocate as Rich Vanderloo.

The former East High basketball coach and athletic director passed away Thursday at the age of 68 after a three-year battle with cancer.

"One thing about Rich, he was always a firm believer in high school athletics and activities for young people," said Chuck Dickens, who played baseball and basketball with Vanderloo at Morningside College and later coached against him at the high school level. "We're going to miss him. He did a lot for the high school people in this town."

Vanderloo had two stints as head basketball coach at East, covering 13 seasons with a 115-134 overall record.

He came to East from Cherokee Washington High School for the 1974-75 season and coached until 1983-84. Vanderloo returned for the 1987-88 campaign through 1989-90.

His 1977-78 squad finished 14-5 overall and won the Sioux Interstate Conference title with a 9-3 mark. The 1981-82 team, which included his oldest son, Jeff, who would follow in his footsteps as East High coach, was 15-5 and shared the SIC championship at 9-3.

Vanderloo also served as athletic director at East. Since his retirement, he has been instrumental in the formation of a middle school athletics program in Sioux City.

Jeff Vanderloo, the oldest of Rich and Pat Vanderloo's four sons, compiled a 295-136 coaching record in 19 seasons at East. He guided the Black Raiders to the 2002 Iowa Class 4A state championship and is now director of basketball operations at Creighton University.

"He had a tremendous influence on me, not only in coaching but living life the right way," said Jeff Vanderloo. "He's been a great influence not only on us but the thousands of kids who have been through the schools."

Rick "Ras" Vanderloo, a longtime assistant under his older brother, has taken over the East High reins. Younger brother, John, now an East assistant, was head coach at North High while his twin, Jim, is a former West High principal.

"Rich was a good family man. All you have to do is look at what his family has accomplished as far as the field of education and athletics are concerned," said Dickens. "He accomplished a great deal. It's a shame he had to leave us so early."

Pat Vanderloo, Rich's wife of 48 years, has also been involved in East High athletics for decades.

A 1961 graduate of Le Mars Community High School, Vanderloo attended the University of Iowa on a baseball scholarship for one year before transferring to Morningside.

He excelled in both baseball and basketball at Morningside, earning North Central Conference baseball player of the year honors twice as a shortstop and was a three-time all-leaguer. As a senior, Vanderloo helped the Chiefs tie the University of Northern Iowa for the NCC title.

Vanderloo spent the 1965 season in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization, toiling as a third baseman on a Florida Rookie League squad.

Before graduating from Morningside in 1965, Vanderloo also earned All-NCC honors in basketball, where he was a three-year starter.

"I made my visit in the spring and he impressed me," said Mike Cadwell, who began his baseball career at Morningside the season after Vanderloo left. "He impressed me with how hard he played."

The late Paul Splittorff and Cadwell visited Vanderloo's home in the fall of 1965 when twins John and Jim were toddlers.

Cadwell went on to become one of the most respected officials in the state.

"I remember in 1980 Rich recommended Everett Williams and myself to work the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game," recalled Cadwell. "I was always grateful to him for doing that."

Vanderloo is survived by his wife, Pat, sons Jeff (Kori), Ras (Kathy), John (Jen) and Jim (Jodi), and nine grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.