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Date Posted: 9/16/2010 3:44:11 PM
Title: Welcome to Herp Field
Name: Daughter #2
Message: The new scoreboard. I think dad would be VERY Proud. Thanks to everyone!

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 3:36:13 PM
Title: Oh What a Night
Name: Daughter #2
Message: What a wonderful night. Thanks to all the people that made the dedication of Herp Field go off with out a hitch. Check out Huron daily tribune for the story.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 5:51:16 PM
Title: Invitation to former players
Name: Rick Glaza
Message: Football players who played under Coach Jerry Herp are invited to join us for the football field dedication ceremony. The dedication will take place prior to the game with Marlette on Friday, September 10 at 7 PM. Players will gather as a group to help celebrate the event.

Commemorative Herp Field T-shirts will be available that night as well. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will help defray the cost of the granite marker that will be placed near the football field.

Date Posted: 8/11/2010 6:17:34 PM
Title: Huron Tribune Article
Name: Daughter #2
Tribune Sports Writer

UBLY — As football coach in five different decades, Jerry Herp left an indelible mark at Ubly.

On Sept. 10, Herp will be forever honored as the football field will be named after the Hall of Famer, who passed away in November of 2009.

Prior to that Week 3 game against Marlette, there will be a 10 minute ceremony to dedicate the field and the memorial stone to commemorate the event.

The granite marker will stand 44 inches tall and measure 65 inches wide. It will include Herp’s career accomplishments.

“I’ve known the Herp family for a long time. Back in May, when Ubly athletic director Dan Delamarter approached me about being part of the committee that was planning this event, immediately I said yes,” said Rick Glaza, a member of the Herp Field committee.

“From then on, I was in direct contact with Jerry’s wife, Elrae, gathering information for a granite marker that will be placed near the field, and also involved with putting together the dedication program and script for the evening of September 10th.”

During his career, Herp amassed a 140-106-2 record, won 10 league championships, and made two playoff appearances. He was named Regional Coach of the Year twice, and led the Bearcats to unbeaten seasons in 1965, 1966 and 1972.

He coached his final game in 2000, and was elected to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December of that year.

“I was a manager for Coach Herp back when I was in high school in the middle to late 1980’s, and the thing I will always remember is pretty simple... If you fall down, pick yourself back up and try it again,” Glaza said.

“That message was the same if you were on the football field or in everyday life. Success comes with hard work and dedication. (Herp) truly believed in that and made sure everyone who came in contact with him knew it too.”

Along with his duties of being a member of the Herp Field committee, Glaza will also be calling the game for WLEW 102.1 FM.

“I’m sure I will be a bundle of nerves — in fact I know I will be,” he said. “I strive for perfection and I want this night to be as perfect as it can be for the Herp family and for the community of Ubly.”

The Herp Field committee is still looking for donations to cover the cost of the granite marker. Donations can be sent to Coach Herp Memorial at Ubly High School, c/o athletic director, 2020 Union Street, Ubly, 48475.

The family is also looking for stories about Coach Herp for an eventual book. Anyone wishing to share a memory can visit www.coachherp.com.

Date Posted: 7/9/2010 8:45:57 AM
Title: Best Coaches Gone
Name: Kathy Heleski Lowe
Message: I just found out about Mr. Herp's passing and was shocked.  I believe I was a freshman when he first came to Ubly - young, single and very good looking as I recall.  Before he became football coach, Ubly had a better band than they did a football team - and the band wasn't very good.  I still recall my senior year homecoming when we beat Gagetown (does it still exist??) with a score of 88 to 00 and a season of no losses.  The guys all said it was due to Coach Herp and what he taught them.  Earlier this month, I made a tribute to Coach John Wooden (UCLA basketball coach) for whom I had the privilege of writing his "Pyramid of Success training program".  It appears the two coaches had very similar philosophies regarding practice and play.  While Coach Wooden got 7 foot tall basketball players, Coach Herp got some pretty scrawny football players.  Biggest one during my years in Ubly weighed about 150 pounds.  The smaller ones were about 5'2 and weighed in at about 120 pounds.  They were more like jockeys than football players.  But 88 to 00 speaks for itself.  
My sympathies to Coach Herp's family.  
Kathy - Class of 1967

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:20:49 AM
Title: Herp Field Memorial Stone Donations
Name: Daughter #2
Message: We need to raise around $3,000. Please send donations to Ubly High School c/o Athletic Director, 2020 Union Street, Ubly Michigan 48475

Date Posted: 6/24/2010 7:52:12 PM
Title: Donations for Field Dedication
Name: Daughter #2
Message: Donations are now being accepted for a Memorial Stone to be placed at the field. Send to Ubly High School Athletic Director. Save the Date -Friday, September 10th, 2010 Dedication before kickoff - 7 p.m.

Date Posted: 6/10/2010 3:19:49 PM
Title: Field Dedication
Name: Daughter #2
Message: The Field Dedication will take place at the first home game, Friday, September 10th, 2010. I will post more as more becomes known.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 3:52:25 PM
Title: memories are forever!!!:)
Name: aryel(pennsylvania princess)
Message: my best times laying in the pond back to the pit. the things i got to do ill never forget they will stay with me forever and ever!!!!!!!!!!i love u grandpa with all my heart:)

Date Posted: 4/17/2010 6:23:16 AM
Title: my childhood u were ther
Message: wow..what can't i say...he was part of my childhood till i was 12!!!my parents loved him..and so did I, his daughter and I were best friends..and always heard from my father he is the best coach ubly ever had or will have and he was right!!!rest in pease

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 8:52:46 PM
Title: GerBear pt 2
Name: Julia Yax
Message: GerBear

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 8:51:14 PM
Title: GerBear
Name: Julia Yax
Message: I met GerBear in Puerto Rico and after a week felt as if we had known him forever. He was so welcoming and I loved how whenever we'd walk by people everyone would say, "HEY GERRY"

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 6:10:26 PM
Title: what happens next ????
Name: (aryel) pennsylvania princess
Message: what will happen now? I doesnt feel like hes gone but I dont no what i will do with out such an amazing grandpa, to teach me how to play football ( probably because im a girl) an be great at it to so i couldve showed my brother up bbut oh well i guess ill just have to watch the games in stead.(

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 6:58:19 PM
Title: Name that player
Name: Reunion Photo
Message: I see Ken Sweeney, John Beaudin, John Wyrick, Who else is in this picture

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 4:16:21 PM
Title: Thinking of My Dad
Name: Daughter #2
Message: I love reading these posts. They are wonderful reminders of my dad. Just read Mike Affer's "Suck it up" post and was reminded of a stickey note I have on my computer at work... It reads "Suck it up... Cupcake!" It is not something my dad ever said, but I liked it when I read it in a magazine and thought it applies daily to my job. And after all "cupcake" sure does come pretty close to "creampuff". And everyone posting knows where that word often came from!

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 9:49:04 AM
Title: A Blast from the past
Name: Baseball 1969
Message: Baseball Coach Jerry Herp reports last year lettermen returning this year include pitchers: David Johnson and Karrey Dea????, players Paul Engle, Ron Rook, Fred Ruthko, Bob Malason and Eugene Mauer. The team has taken 3 of 5 championships in the Western Thumb Baseball District. Photo Caption: Dave Abraham prepares for a mock "run to second" in the gym of Ubly Community High.

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 7:13:53 PM
Title: just remember
Name: pennsylvania princess:(aryel)
Message: The hardest part in coaching is for the player to believe in themselves the rest comes pretty easy! remember believe in yourselves so coach can believe in you

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:16:27 AM
Title: A great Friend
Name: Gale "Quill" Newell
Message: I just today (1-9-2010)learned of Jerry's passing and offer my condolences to his family.  Jerry was my best friend at Burnips.  We went to grade school together but different high schools but were great friends during our school years.  We, along with Bob Beck, went out west into Mexico in 1959 and I have some stories from that trip that I will never forget. He was at my wedding but shortly after we had only infrequent get togethers.
I will always remember him as a great friend.

Gale "Quill" Newell

Date Posted: 12/15/2009 12:52:42 PM
Title: Field Dedication 2010
Name: from sanilacbroadcasting.com
Message: Ubly School set to dedicate football field in Coach Herp's name next season --

(UBLY) -- Ubly School Board members Monday approved a motion to dedicate the football field in longtime football Coach Jerry Herp's name. Herp was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000 with 140 career coaching victories with the Ubly Bearcats. Herp passed away in November following illness and the dedication will take place at the first home football game in the fall of 2010.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:58:28 AM
Title: THE GAME of All Games
Name: written by Gordon Brewer '48
Message: Excerpted from "Journey of Hope-Names and Games Remembered" by Gordon M. Brewer, published 2002.

The ensuing kickoff was taken by halfback Jerry Herp from tiny Hopkins High School. His return to the 31 gave Hope reasonable field position. With the game in the balance, it was once again decision-time for coach De Vette. For Hope's "last chance" he now employed a semispread formation with Bronson split wide to the left and various halfbacks in the position of wide flanker to the right. The two set backs were Duane Voskuil and Watt. Hope was not really a passing team, but Coach Waters could not take a chance. His response was a loose 5-3 "prevent" defense. This opened the door for Hope's preferred running game. On trap plays, Voskuil and Watt had runs of 16 and 13 yards while quarterback Mack mixed in just enough short passes to keep the Dales in their prevent alignment. Such procedures, however, tended to eat up the clock. As the final seconds ticked away, Hope found itself with a first down on the Hillsdale 21.

Read the full game story at

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:46:01 AM
Title: To the herp family, sorry for your loss
Name: Carol Smith
Message: I am so sorry for your loss. You have gone through so much and and I wish you peace now. God Bless!

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 2:44:34 PM
Title: A Drive in Life
Name: Kathi Jahn
Message: I knew Mr Herp as my driver's education teacher.  He didn't always have much to say, but always made sure we were driving in areas to check out the deer or the fish!  What a joy he was to be with!

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 6:57:02 PM
Title: A story from Bob Beck High school friend
Name: Betsy daughter #2
Message: There was an incident involving Herp and Gale Newell in about 1956 or 1957. The two guys had come up with a 1949 Ford chassis they were going to make into a Dune Buggy or a "doodle bug" as they were called in the old days.  They worked real hard on this thing and finally got it runninng real good. They took it out on a test run down 140th street. They were tooling right along when the steering wheel came off in Herp's hands. The thing started to zig zag across the road and he couldn't fit the wheel back on. They ended up hitting a tree near Otto Beards farm and had to tow the "doodle buggy' home. They never drove it again. Hmmm, thanks for sharing this story Bob Beck. Maybe this is what inspired my dad to become a Driver's training teacher?

Date Posted: 11/26/2009 6:14:30 PM
Title: In memory of a very kind man.
Name: Christian Powers
Message: I know that that description may not be the first one that jumps to the minds of the ones that knew Gerald Herp. And, after hearing the testimony of the ones that trained under him it would appear that it defiantly is not the first word that pops into their minds while remembering their training -tough, strong, determined, confident, strong willed, intense, and many more descriptors that communicate the power of his character and determination. But, the only thing that dominated my mind when thinking of him was the overwhelming presence of kindness –he was always kind to me, even when calling me a creampuff {which I uncountable was being at the time}. As funny as that may seem, it was coming from a place of kindness… a caring place. Like he had discovered the gift that self-confidence and strength can give a person and he wanted to make sure he gave that gift to as many people as he could. It was through his daughter Rachel that I met him and the rest of their family and through their family were I felt their kindness.  I am so grateful to him and his family for who they are and what they give. So much so that it is clear that any words I chose to express it are clearly inadequate.
With much love, Christian

Date Posted: 11/26/2009 5:03:57 PM
Title: Quiet Time
Name: John Toth
Message: As the tall house sets on the hill
It awaits the coming winter
The relatives and guests have left
Holidays are soon to be here
Times will be different from now on
The morning noise from the pit will be no more
The warmth in the garage from the woodstove absent
But it will all carry on
The wind will blow and pull at the seams of the house
But it will withstand it all
Life is so swift but memories will be forever
Children and friends will retell the stories
They will grow grander
So as the house on the hill withstands it all
So shall you

Till we meet again

Date Posted: 11/25/2009 1:19:39 PM
Title: High school and College friend
Name: Harry Hudson
Message: I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of Gerry. I've know Gerry for 50 plus year. I played football, basketball and baseball against him in High School. Hopkins and Wayland were great rivals. I also roomed with him at Central Michigan, and remember the great times there. I remember him as a great athlete, a fierce competitor and a true friend. I will nevery forget him.

Date Posted: 11/25/2009 4:55:32 AM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Doug MacEachin
Message: I consider myself fortunate for having the privilege to have grown up around and played for Coach Herp.  I hope he knew how much I appreciated the opportunity.  After reading the comments of the players from the 80s and 90s, I am struck by the impact his decision to return to coaching had on so many lives.  He could have rested on his laurels from the 60s and 70s and achieved more than most.  Yet he knew he had more to contribute and set about to do just that, reinvigorating a moribund program and rekindling memories in the players past.
My thoughts and prayers to Elrae, the kids and all those who have lost a true friend.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 7:31:13 PM
Title: coach herp
Name: mike affer
Message: First I would like to offer my condolence's to the entire herp family as I know this is a very tough time. Our thought's and prayer's go out to you all. I myself have alot of great memorie's of coach herp on the football field .But I Will tell It like It is like coach would have wanted .the practice,s were pure hell!then there was hell week! we prayed for the games  so we could hit someone else! then the catch phase's all herp's player's know, "if it hurt's it's doing some good" "Are you guy's danceing over there" what the hell was that? "OK CREAM PUFF" now toughen up suck it up! well you have heard them all and yes I use them with the little guy's Iam coaching now in the youth league. I will miss coach herp a lot but I will continue to pass on lesson's learned from coach to future player's. play your hardest and above all never ever quit! Thank you coach herp.        

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 9:55:59 AM
Title: Gina Sambuchi
Name: Classmate of Betsy Herp
Message: Dear Herp family,

I was saddened to learn of Mr. Herp's passing.  My best memories are going tothe 1986 Ubly basketball playoff games with Betsy and Mr. and Mrs. Herp.  I am thinking of your family and am very sorry about the loss of such a great man.
Gina Sambuchi

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 8:12:37 AM

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 5:37:14 AM
Title: To a legend
Name: Kathy Stomack
Message: My deepest sympathies to Elrae and Gerry's children, may the loving memories keep him forever in your hearts.  
As you read the postings WOW, I hope he knew he had influenced just a few of the many who have posted.
My first memory of Mr. Herp was when I was in Jr. High and it was a pep assembly for football the year was 1966, I don't recall all the details but their was a soft side he demonstrated at that assembly.  He was touched by something the players were doing.  
He was mine and my husbands Drivers Ed instructors and we have shared our stories of him reading the paper and smoking cigars while we drove.  We remember our first night of drivers training when he said "before a year is up one of you will be dead due to an auto accident" and before we finished the class we had lost a classmate.  We thought he had ESP and definiely gained our respect.

For many of us when we think of Ubly foot ball it is Coach Herp who comes to mind.  The stories of Hell week I remember my brother Dave playing coming home after the morning practice to soak in a hot tub to get ready for the night practice.  My sister Joyce states as a young child she learned new words from Coach Herp's encouragement to the players; and we lived across the street from the football field.
Coach Herp you are a legacy - you may be gone but you will never be forgotten.  Thanks for the memories.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 9:32:11 PM
Title: Great Brother
Name: Dorothy Anderson - oldest sister
Message: Jerry was a great brother to me.  I have many memories of our childhood.  One that stands out to me happened when we were both pre-school age.  Jerry was riding his tryke and ran into me, cutting the side of my knee.  So I took a garden hoe to the back of his head, leaving a scar.  I still have the scar on my knee and if you ask me nice, I just might show it to you!

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 6:08:41 PM
Title: Much more than a coach
Name: Rick Maurer
Message: I never had Mr. Herp for a coach, but I was lucky to have him as a shop teacher, drivers training instructor, home construction teacher, and also worked for him after graduation. He was always firm but well respected and I admired him for that. He always used to say "Maurer, use your head for something besides a hat rack, You'll never get far if all you can do is use a shovel"! I have so many great memories of him, and could go on and on but I want his family to know he touched many lives and I am very pleased to have known him, he was a great guy.
Richard A. Maurer
Class of 1977

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 5:42:38 PM
Title: Herp the Teenager Remembered
Name: Sonny Beard
Message: Herp (that is what we called him in his younger days) was my neighbor and teammate at Hopkins High School.  He was a fellow class member of the class of 1957.We communicated for several years on the sport's fields. I was the catcher and Herp was the pitcher and shortstop and I vividly remember him pitching a double header while I was catching.  He was a great quarterback and I was the center.  We had many good times, many of which only he and I and our close friends should know about. I am sure he influenced several lives through his coaching career and I send my sympathies to his entire family and friends.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 5:29:45 PM
Title: A Good Man
Name: Paul, Pearl Romberg
Message: did not play football for Jerry but our sons did, we are greatful for that. My wife did not play football for Jerry either, but our daughters all knew and respected him.It was a very special time in our family. Jerry saw the big picture better than most, that's one reason why he pushed us all as he did.He showed us how to walk tall and see the world with clear eyes.He may have been short in stature but he was big in heart. We all will miss him.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 12:52:21 PM
Title: Miss Jeralyn
Name: Barbie (Merchant) Tilt
Message: Dear Jeralyn and family,
We are so sorry to learn that your Dad has passed into Heaven.  I did my student teaching at Ubly, in 1989 and I know how much he was loved by everyone.  May God be with you now and always.  If there is anything we can do, please call me Jealyn.
John, Barbie, and Alexandria Tilt

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 11:08:21 AM
Title: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Name: Al & Tammy Bracciano
Message: Elrae my deepest condolences are with you and the family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time.  Al and Tammy Bracciano & Family, Omaha, NE

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 1:23:50 AM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Amy (Cieslinski) Lightfoot
Message: I would first like to offer my condolenses to the Herp family.  He was an amazing man.  I remember cheering on the sidelines (91-95 football seasons) and having Coach Herp's voice drown out the cheerleaders.  It took a lot to cover us up and he did it.  Who can forget the amazing season the Bearcats had in 1995.  It was the most amazing football team I had ever seen come out of Ubly.  Those country boys could play!! I was proud to cheer for a team that was led by The Coach.  Your legacy will always live on in the halls of UHS and you will never be forgotten.  Everytime the guys run on to the field, you will be there shedding a little wisdom..."Get your a**es moving!!"  Long live Coach Herp!!

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 6:23:22 PM
Title: A Kind Man
Name: Craig & Rejo Walter
Message: While we had met Gerry at Huron Intermediate School District gatherings over the years (thru Elrae), we really had the opportunity to get to know him the last two spring breaks in Puerto Rico.   In 2008 the Herps had connected us with a great deal on a condo in the same resort they frequented and we were able to stay for the whole week on the beach with them in San Juan.  Gerry and Elrae were the perfect hosts sharing their condo at the top of the building to watch the airport, telling us the inside track on transportation-entertainment- and casinos. Gerry’s description of Ponce makes it a must see for our family at some point.
In 2009 Craig was able to stay in the Herp condo for a couple nights before Craig’s  family arrived in Puerto Rico.  Again, Gerry was very attentive to my interests and flexible in planning activities.  Bingo at the pool at the El San Juan (ESJ) each afternoon was a huge hit- especially when someone in our group won cash or a bottle of rum.  Since Bingo was in Spanish, our youngest, Carly,  learned that BeeYonce is B-11, not a popular singer as she thought.
Even before Rejo and Craig got to visit the Herps in San Juan, both our older children-  Michaella and Ryan visited them while Ryan was a pilot for American Eagle in San Juan.  Both told us several times how welcoming and comfortable Gerry made them feel immediately upon meeting him.
Gerry taught us about wearing a money belt so the local thugs didn’t get your casino money.  Thanks for the great times and the best Pina Coladas in what turned out to be your last couple years, Gerry.  Rest in Peace.  Rejo and Craig Walter

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 3:54:38 PM
Title: Kerry Wright (Dennis)
Name: cousin
Message: To the Herp family,
I don't have any funny stories to relate...and I don't talk football, but I do have some precious memories like you all do.  I'll forever remember the smile, the tease and the laugh. AND...(like my mom) I will never forget the "look!".
love and prayers,

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 3:18:35 PM
Title: Marilou (Ballagh) & Tom Barszczowski
Name: Friend and coworker
Message: Elrae, family and friends,
We were saddened to hear of Jerry's passing.  We last saw him at Howell H.S. at a football game.  How ironic...We spent the whole game reminiscing and sharing family stories. He met my son, Tom (jr.), who had heard all of the stories about Ubly and the Herp tradition.  He now got to meet a true hero.  Jerry and I only taught for a few years together but remained friends through our wives (classmates). He and Elrae visited our Dearborn home.  Long live the the Jerry Herp tradition at Ubly High School.

Marilou and Tom

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 2:07:56 PM
Title: A Few Great Moments
Name: Larry Western
Message: Where to begin.  There is so much to be said.   He has had such an influence on my life.  Not only in sports, but in the classroom, as well as taking it all with me.   I had coach for shop, home construction, drivers ed., and the dreaded study hall. He also worked at the school with my dad Chuck Western.  Oh I was so lucky to have had that. My dad would come home after a day at work and say, “you know I just talked with Coach Herp,  and he said you were not doing your best today.”  So I heard it as much at home as from coach.  As harsh as it was at the time I believe it made me a better person.  I remember so many things he taught me, too many to list.   One thing that comes to mind this time of year is the bus speeches at half time,  that ALL the other coaches in the league asked us “WHAT THE HELL did he say to you guys to get you so fired up.” Well the secret revealed:  coach threatened us with Saturday and Sunday practices.  That’s all it took for us!  We would give each other hell in the huddle if we missed a block or a tackle, we knew laps followed. Coach always pushed us to always perform at out best.  He taught us what team work was all about.   Infact our practices were so demanding that the were fun in comparison.  The best speech was at the last game of our season,  “there is one thing they can never take from you,  is an undefeated season!”  I am so very fortunate to be able to carry that with me, as all of us on the team of 1972 Bearcats .   My favorite comment coach made as I remember was: “When God was giving out the brains you thought he said trains and you caught the caboose !”      

My prayers and thoughts go out to the family,
Sincerely  Larry

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 12:45:41 PM
Title: Mr. Jerry Herp
Name: Friend of Wife, Elrae
Message: My most sincerely sympathy and condolsences to Elrae and family.  I understand your loss and please know I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.  I wish I could be there to support you in person.  Elrae, know I'm here if you ever want to talk.  Peace be with you and your family.  Sincerely, Cathy Kropewnicki

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 11:00:59 AM
Title: A good man--a great coach
Name: Dan Miller -- Boone
Message: It seems that some people can go through life in virtual silence and walk so softly that they leave no footprints.  They touch few and no one notices their passing. Such cannot be said for the coach.  From the tributes it is obvious that many have heard and felt his presence.  Some still bear his footprint on their back side.  They will note his passing with a special mixture of sorrow and fond memories. There are supposedly great men in this world that have meant nothing to me and then there are a very few good men that have meant much.  Coach Herp is one of these men.  

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 9:27:25 AM
Title: Uncle Jerry
Name: Melinda Whitman-neice
Message: Dear Aunt Elrae, and the girls,  I have so many great memories of Uncle Jerry, I just don't know where to start. I remember coming to your house with my dad while he hunted and thinking, these guys don't really hunt, they sit around watching football, telling stories, and just plain have a good time.  I remember trips we have taken down to Cedar Point, and of course to grandma's at Coldwater Lake. I'm really going to miss him, family gatherings will never be the same. After reading all these stories that friends and family have posted, it's obvious to everyone what a great man and teacher he was. He will be forever missed.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:31:28 AM
Message: Mrs. Herp and family,
I am saddened by the loss Coach Herp. I remember one incident while in drivers ed. coach herp nailed my while i was driving the car swerved and he quickly reminded me to stay in my lane! besides those memories I pray in the name of JESUS ,that he would wrap his loving arms around you during this time. That JESUS would comfort you with his love. we mourn because we love. we mourn by saying good-bye to friend,father,neighbor,and coach we are comforted because He (JESUS) loves us individually and as a people. I ask these things in the name of JESUS. I hope that these thoughts comfort and encourage you and your family difficult time. sincerely Paul A. Salowitz

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 6:58:50 AM
Title: Jerry Herp
Name: Betty (Post) Gries
Message: So sorry to hear about Jerry.  We attended the same school for twelve years. It was so nice to see him at our 50th class reunion.  My deepest sympthy  
Betty Gries

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:37:20 PM
Title: Mr. Lasting Impression--Coach Jerry
Name: James Quigg /Class of 1970
Message: Being legally blind all of my life, I never had the privilege of playing sports or taking shop classes under your guidance.  Even in Ag classes, next door to your shop classes, you managed to leave a lasting impression upon me as a great "friend."  To Elrae and family, I offer my sincere prayers and thoughts.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 7:42:24 PM
Title: Truly missing you
Name: DeanntaJulianta
Message: Elrae, girls & family may you find comfort in the love & respect expressed for Gerry as well as all of you.  I have so many fond memories of all of you and the many hours spent at Herps.  If I was missing everyone knew where I was, my second home.  May you find warmth in your hearts ,knowing that Gerry is home with Jeff, Judy and many others who are preparing a place for us in heaven.  May God Bless all of you and give you the strength to endure.  Lots of love to all of you. Love DeanntaJulianta

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 7:23:34 PM
Title: Great Cousin
Name: Jeanie Dexter  (Drier)
Message: Deepest Sympathy to the Herp Family

I never forget the years back at Gram and Grampa Herps Farms in Dorr, Mich

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 6:59:14 PM
Title: A simple saying
Name: Warren Nugent
Message: I have always renmembered his simple words of wisdom that coach always had posted in his office and spoke of frequently. They apply to sports as well as life.  Coach always said "Winners never quit and quiters never win"

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 6:49:23 PM
Title: good times
Name: cousins
Message: So many memories and some of the best of my life. Such good times with Gerry, Elrae, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle John, and the rest of the cousins at Coldwater Lake. That's why it's still our favorite place to visit in the summer, even though we're  out of state. And we're grateful for a recent memory, when Gerry, Elrae, and Aunt Dorothy visited us in Kansas last January. They sat through a weekend-long wrestling tournament that our son, Ryan, competed in. That requires extreme patience. I hope they had half as much fun as we did while they were here. During that weekend, Gerry spent several hours installing a toe plate on Ryan's baseball shoes. Ryan's a pitcher and he drags his foot; the plate protects the shoe. Gerry got it just right; he didn't have to do that for Ryan, but Ryan sure appreciated it. We'll miss him and his generous, loving spirit. Elrae and girls, we love you guys and hope your wondeful memories help comfort you.
Love, Tracy, Paris, and Ryan

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:38:29 AM
Title: We'll Miss You, Uncle Gerry
Name: Jennifer VunCannon - Niece
Message: I will miss you immensely and will always cherish the many memories I have of you.  From all of the fun at the Lake, the family Christmases, watching you be inducted into the hall of fame, watching my son Alex follow you around and "help" you and many, many more.  While I will no longer get to see you at future family gatherings, I know you will be there in spirit with those that have passed before you...Aunt Judy is probably already planning a fun Christmas party for all you.  I was lucky to know you and will always be proud to call you Uncle.  Goodbye and see you again someday...

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 8:10:51 AM
Name: 1st Cousin Linda
Message: What is there to say that everyone else has not said.  You just have no idea on how many lives you haved touched in such profound ways, including mine. I always thought of you as my cool, older, boy, 1st cousin, with that great smile and was glad when I got to see you (as were my 5 sisters and 1 brother) heck I never wanted to go to the HERP family reunions unless I knew you, Jerry and family were going to show up. You are special and always asked about my family, even as my children grew older. You are the BEST. I treasure the memories. My sympathy to you dear Elrae and children.
Our tears will flow, our hearts will ache, unil we meet you at Heaven's gate.

Linda Buck-HERP

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 6:30:42 AM
Title: With deepest sympathy
Name: Darlene Herp Layle
Message: Dear Elrae and girls,
    We grieve for your loss and hope you find comfort in all the wonderful memories you must have. I still remember when my father passed away which was only six months after his own father, Jerry was the first phone call I received offering his help as if he lived next door. As a young cousin I remember staying overnight at his house and going to watch him play football with his sister Janet. What a thrill!! We knew he was headed for bigger things even then. May God's love and peace be with you.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 10:10:12 PM
Title: My deepest sympathy
Name: Bonnie T.M.

Elrae, and family
I wish, I had known the coach side of Jerry. Living so far apart did't give me that opportunity. Always enjoying the times shared at whatever family events, always a great time.  He also raised a Great family.My Deepest Sympathy to everyone.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 9:01:01 PM
Title: Great man
Name: Bob Walsh
Message: I very sorry to the news. We didn't aways see eye to eye but I always respected and looked up to Coach Herp. I still remember the first day arrived in Ubly, he was rising hell with his old car. He will be missed greatly. My condolences and best wishs to Elrae.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:03:16 PM
Title: Thank you
Name: Mike Schenk
Message: Thank you coach for so many things I carry with me today.  All these years later you enter my thoughts quite often. You were a great example.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:49:53 PM
Title: A great person.  A great coach
Name: Juli MacEachin
Message: I never knew anyone who had as many friends or who deserved them more.
Elrae, I hope that you can find some comfort in your many special memories and in the thought of the happy years you shared.
The world has lost someone very special.

With love and sympathy,

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:41:20 PM
Title: Dr. William C. Courliss
Name: Former HS Principal
Message: I recall Coach Herp leading his Bearcat teams to numerous victories.  He was always a professional, hard-working man that truly loved his players and demanded they give their best at all times both on the field and off.  He will be greatly missed by the school-community.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:11:47 PM
Title: May this message bring comfort
Name: Marie Alward
Message: I knew Gerald for over forty years.Always like to laugh and have fun. I know he will be missed by many.My Prayers are with your family.Marie  Alward

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 5:20:56 PM
Title: COACH
Name: carl prendergast
Message: My heart goes out to the herp family. It took me a few yrs. to figure out that not only was coach herp teaching us his no frill style of football he was also teaching us life lessons that all of us that had the priviledge to play for him have taken with us. one for me is to never quit. and some very fond memories. you will never be forgotten.

God bless Coach

Carl Prendergast class of 85

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 3:18:59 PM
Title: remembering cousin Jerry
Name: cousin Margie Herp-Lorback
Message: First of all, I want to express my sincere condolences to Elrae and children. I too have memories of going out to your family farm in Burnips, but the greatest memory of all was when you drove out to my mom's to express your heartfelt sympathy to me and my family during the tragic death of my son Kris. I was truely overwhelmed by your sincere generosity and empathy as only one who loses a child would know and understand. I was deeply touched and I  will never forget you. Now you are with your Son....My thoughts and prayers are with your family...
Margie (Herp) Lorback

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 3:02:22 PM
Title: My Thoughts And Prayers
Name: Lana Walsh (classof 1968)
Message: Elrae and family, my deepest sympathy goes out to you at this time of loss.  We all have stories and special memories of those high school years and he was a force to be noticed. Awesome influence those high school years. He will be missed by all.

Lana Walsh

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 2:57:08 PM
Title: Uncle Jerry
Name: Mark Nugent
Message: Today is marked by sorrow with the loss of another member of my great family. It is my wish to share some fond memories but there is just too many. I will say that as a young man growing up I was a bit of a knucklehead. Not a bad kid really just a knucklehead. But as I sit here a 40 year old man with childern of my own anything that is good in me is a direct result of the men in my family.My Father,Grandfather,
Uncle Arn and Uncle Jerry. All those summers at the lake I learned so much from them.I had over 20 years up hunting at the Herps and every year I was taught ,yet again, not to trump my partners ace and the proper way to clean a deer.I will alway hold those memories dear. My Uncle Jerry gave so much to so many. The generousity and strength he personified I will always admire. I will miss you and I will never forget.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 2:09:25 PM
Title: Our Deepest Sympathy
Name: Jeff & Donna Castle
Message: We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Gerry.  What a wonderful, caring person who touched so many lives.  Puerto Rico will never be the same!! We will miss his Pina Coladas - They were the BEST!!!  Our granddaughters will miss "Mr. Fuzzy" so much.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you Elrae and your family.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:46:24 PM
Title: Thoughts and Prayers
Name: Beth (Bragg) Brilinski
Message: I was so sorry to hear the news of Mr. Herp's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Herp Family at this difficult time.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:19:55 PM
Title: PASSING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Name: Eric Czewski
Message: When my son told me last night after practice that my coach passed I lost my breath.I could not believe the man was gone . I to have come close to the edge and was able to come back. when I was in the hospital and they told me you will never walk again I told them like my coach said never and can't are two word's we do not use here. Can and do are the only thing I like to hear. When I coached my son Matthews youth leauge team  I knew that coach Herp would hear about me  coaching and he would be paying attention to how I did. I hope that I made him proud of my effort with the kids . I only know one way to coach football the Herp way with a little marine corp thrown in. Almost every day I would tell the kids how my coach was and how he did things. Those are the young men that will go into battle this saturday against Hudson. Coach Herp never coached these young men but in a way he did through me. I hope that by passing it on that someday one of these kids will coach and that way the Herp way will never die. I do not now how you measure greatness is it money, fame i don't really know.  But if the measure of A man's greatness is the lives a person touches while he's hear. Coach Herp is one of the greatest men to have walked this earth.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:00:57 PM
Title: Mr. Herp
Name: Holly Zulauf Swackhamer
Message: My first memory of Mr. Herp was as our next door neighbor in Ubly.  Mr. Herp and family lived in a house between Schrader's and our house.  Now, you would think that would have some sort of influence being neighbors and all but believe me it didn't help one bit when Shelly and I were forever being "picked on" by Mr. Herp for talking so much in study hall!  Anyone who knows Shelly and myself should find it hard to believe that we would talk very much!  OK, so I am confessing, maybe we did!  When Mr. Herp came up to the back of you and put your neck in that death grip you knew you were in trouble.

I also was a driver's training student with Mr. Herp.  I just want to tell you , NEVER reach in to the steering wheel to turn.  

I want to say thank you to all of Mr. Herp's family for sharing him with us.  He was a wonderful man with a HUGE personality.  God Bless You Elrae and family.


Date Posted: 11/20/2009 12:00:45 PM
Title: Legacy
Name: Peg
Message: I did not know Coach Herp except through  the stories his daughter Betsy told me. Gerald Herp not only leaves behind a rich football history, but a wonderfully smart, sensitive, and funny daughter whom I have had the good fortune of working with. I'm sure her father was very proud of her. My heartfelt sympathies to the entire family.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 11:07:37 AM
Title: In Passing...
Name: Paul Kneffel
Message: Gerry Herp was known as a lot of things, to a lot of people. To most - coach, to some - Dad, and loved one to a few more. That's not to say that any one was more special or lucky than the rest, because at the end of the day we could all call him a friend.

I once heard a quote, that seems especially fitting for this..."Be not sad that I am gone, but be happy that I have lived. Through living, Gerry touched an innumerable amount of lives. Wether it had been on the playing field, classroom, or in passing on the street - his influence could be felt long after the fact.

God must have thought his time here was through, and called on Gerry. We must force ourselves to be content with that, because where he was summoned - there is no pain or discomfort, only happy times. And that too is how we must remember him, a vibrant man, full of wisdom, and full of life.

So, I guess this is good-bye. But at the same time, I'd rather look at it as though it is only "until we meet again".

We'll miss you coach. Just be sure to let the boys up in heaven know that "they aren't there to play patty-cake, or dance with the girls...they are there to play football."

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 8:32:43 AM
Title: May God bless you,cousin Jerry.
Name: Georgia (Herp) Walker
Message: I have fond memories of you and your mom and dad (Uncle Gerald and Aunt Irma) and sisters coming over to our house after the Hopkins High School football games on Friday nights....we were wide-eyed as you walked in the door .... we knew you were a great football player and  just a nice cousin ..... to come spend the rest of your Friday night with us was pretty cool..... after all you were the older cousin.... but you took your time to visit us...... thank you, cousin Jerry and to this day my sister, Mimi, and I share a special bond with you as we were TEACHERS and COACHES also......swimming, basketball,vollleyball and tennis......may God bless Elrae, your daughters and  Jerry's sisters..... Ubly community, you have truly lost a TREASURE in my cousin, Jerry Herp. Jerry, you will be in my prayers.
Georgia (Herp) Walker

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:59:49 AM
Title: The Next Play
Name: David Johnston
Message: I just found out of Coach's passing from Linda Hammond on facebook.  I don't think I can put into words the way I feel.  Next to losing my Dad this comes in a close second.  Our family will keep your family in our prayers.  I was hoping to see him at the game Saturday.  Now he will see the game and we will honor his legacy.

Thank you coach for helping young kids become young men.  We were forever affected by you.  Good bye and God Bless You and Your Family.  GO CATS!

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:31:49 AM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Larry Forman
Message: I am sorry to hear of Coach Herp's passing, I know he did not go without a fight.  I shared fours years with him that I will cherish the rest of my life.  Every time I see a football game it will remind me of a great coach and mentor for many young men. Coach Herp's memory will live on at Ubly Community Schools forever! My thoughts and prayers to the family.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 3:37:50 AM
Title: Mr. Bearcat
Name: John Wyrick
Message: What an impact you made on so many lives. I too was one of the fortunate ones. I was sixteen you were 23, [1963]  when we met in the old gymn at Ubly High. You were handing out those instructions, expecting us to be in physical shape come fall,my sophmore year. I thought to myself, yeh okay. Thank you coach for introducing me to Hell Week.  Roll forward to my Senior year undefeated and the beginning of a  perfect season. Of course  come Monday's practice, after a Friday night victory, you would of thought we played our worst game of the year. Game film review, it was poor tackling, lousy blocking, poor play execution. Coach it wasn't until the end of the season that you let us celebrate. Thank you for that moment. We will never forget. After graduation you called me up on a Sunday afternoon told me to put on my high school baseball uniform. You needed a pitcher.{My introduction to Independent Baseball.) You were playing secondbase and me on the mound. I remember your words to me before I made my first pitch. "This isn't high school ball, and call me Gerry"  My response " Okay Mr.Herp ".  I'm sorry coach somethings just take time. Years past and now my son Dennis has the good fortune to play football for you. My guess you were going to coach until you could find a Wyrick that could play football. Ha! Ha!  Next, it was our daughters, and girls softball. You asked me to help coach that summer. What a great time that was. Final thoughts. After 61 years I still don't know what a Bearcat is.  But if I was to discribe it, it would be part Grizzly, part mountain lion, with the tempermant of a Coach Herp. I still don't know for sure what a Bearcat is. I do know  this ,I wouldn't poke this Bearcat with a stick.   THANKS COACH ['MR. BEARCAT']FOR LETTING US BE A PART OF YOUR TEAM. Elrae and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. John and Mary Wyrick          

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 10:21:59 PM
Title: Are you Tough Enough
Name: Karen (Romberg) Scott
Message: To the Herp Family and all the people whose lives have been touched by Gerry -
know that his legacy will live on and his tenacity and the lessons he has shared on and off the field have made us all stronger.

It has been a pleasure reading back over these stories and hearing how many ways he has touched everyone's lives and feeling that Bearcat pride again.

Both my brothers played for Coach Herp and I can still hear the player's cleats echoing on the pavement as they ran across the parking lot those nights after practices and games. From the stories I'd hear - he was the kind of coach that any great athlete wants to have - tough and always pushing you to be tougher.  

I have a story that I wonder if my sister Audrey will remember -
One fall when we were in high school we asked Coach Herp if we could tryout and practice with his football team.  We were badgering him that volleyball players (girls) could be as tough as guys and wanted to get some workouts/training in before our Volleyball season started.  I recall he responded with a smirk on his face, a twinkle in his eye, and said 'We practice everyday. And if you're a Romberg, you gals could probably make it......
for a day or two".

Needless to say, I don't believe any gal ever played on his football teams - but in that one conversation and from all these stories that are being shared, you can see that one of Gerry's missions in life was to make every kid believe that anything is possible if you want it bad enough and make the commitment to work hard at it.

Maybe all those leaves he was making you guys go get from 'the tree' was his way of telling you that seasons come and go and you are just like that leaf - here for a short time and only for a season.

Remember your roots and continue to grow -
we will miss you Coach.

Karen (Romberg) Scott
Class of '88

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 8:12:43 PM
Title: A Great Man!
Name: Nick Bliss
Message: To start I want to send my deepest condolenses to all of the Herp family.. Although I've only had the pleasure of knowing Gerry the last few years he stands out as one of the greatest men I have ever known.  A true family man and a great friend.  So many great memories I wouldn't know where to begin to put into them words and some maybe I shouldn't.  I've been fortunate to do a lot of things and see a lot of places with Gerry.  I got to spend a lot of time riding shot gun (cause he always had to drive) be it his blue Ford, his van, or a rental car in Puerto Rico those trips were always an adventure.  From the shores of Cold Water Lake to the Beaches of Isla Verde and a few three card poker tables along the way we've had a lot of fun. We shared a lot of thoughts we've had a lot of laughs and even an occasional cocktail or two those memories will never be forgotten.  They say everyone dies famous in a small town that's not true. Only the great ones....

Until we meet again my friend..

Nick Bliss            

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 6:43:19 PM
Title: Coach Herp ....
Name: Glenn Bukoski  FB 68-71
Message: It was with great sadness that I learned from my folks that Coach Herp passed away before I could pass along my best wishes for good health and better days .... such is life.

Seeing Coach Herps picture on this website brings back many memories of Ubly Bearcat football as if they just happened months ago.  Any of the guys who played for Coach will recall their memories, the following are some of my favorites:  hell week;  leg lifts (many of them) with Coach standing on your stomach; beating Deckerville 72-0; the meat grinder; Coach watching practice chewing on that tooth pick, with his hands stuck down the front of those white football pants he always wore; "take a lap"; the rivalries with Harbor Beach; when a lineman didn't block, Coach put him in the backfield, gave him the ball, and told all the lineman not to block .... we learned to block well.

There were no super-stars on his teams I played on and we weren't the biggest kids in the area, but he taught us to believe in ourselves, never give up, and play hard as a team....we won a lot of games!!

I'm glad I came back to Ubly a few years ago when they invited many of his player back to help celebrate his retirement ... it was good to see Coach and the guys that showed up.

My sincerest condolences to Coach's family .... he will be miss, but he will not be forgotten.

May Coach Herp's spirit and the spirit of all Ubly football players past be with the Bearcats this weekend when they play in the state semi-finals.

Glenn Bukoski
Class of 72

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 6:20:21 PM
Title: Bearcat Soul
Name: Garrett Romberg
Message: My condolances to the Herp family. It has been a true honor to have been one of he fortunate individuals to be influenced by a this great man. I can remeber going through boot camp in 92 and thinking that it was easier than one of coach Herp's practices! Go ahead and stand on my stomach with your steel toed boots and bounce up and down. Wind sprints! After about 500yds of that:  "ARE YOU GUYS TIRED YET?" Yeah coach  " ALRIGHT THEN RUN SOME MORE!"  Coach I am not tired, nor will I ever be, cause I know you will be looking over our shoulders pushing us that extra little bit.  Your memory will never fade because coach YOU ARE THE BEARCAT!!

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 5:49:31 PM
Title: To Elrae and her beautiful family...
Name: Michele Kabban
Message: Although I did not personally know Jerry, I must say that having the honor of being married to such an amazing and strong woman clearly indicates to me that he was an amazing man himself.  

May his memory be eternal!

With prayers, thoughts, and love,


"As Christians we should not say, good-bye, but rather, until we meet again."

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 4:16:53 PM
Title: Passing of a Legend
Name: Bill Romberg
Message: To the Herp family...

It is clear from the many messages on this site that Gerry was not only a great father and husband, but a legend of coach who touch many lives over the years.  He will be greatly missed by all who ever played for him or had the privilege of being around him.

Few things I have done since I stopped playing football my sophomore year in college have required the physical and mental challenges I remember from the practice field and the games I played for Coach Herp.  In fact, strange as it may seem, I often measure many of my current outdoor activities against the rigors I remember from my days on the football or practice field--and they often don’t “measure-up”.  The phrases, “suck it up”, “gut it out”, and “4th quarter”, are still with me, and have given me inspiration and determination during a few particularly difficult challenges I have faced.

Years ago, my dad gave me an article entitled: “The Toughest Coach There Ever Was”, and, to this day, I will always remember thinking that it was going to be a story about Coach Herp, because that is what we thought of Coach Herp when I was at UHS.  He was gruff, tough, and always willing to lay into one of us when we were slacking off.  No one wanted to be the beneficiary of a Herp forearm shiver or to line up across from him “to be shown how it’s done”.  So, we learned to do it right, worked hard to get better, and enjoyed the rewards--a 22-0 shut-out of Harbor Beach, a 8-0 defensive win over Reese, a 20-16 win over Bad Axe in the final seconds……

These memories and the times shared with friends on the field will never be forgotten and I would not have traded the experience for anything in the world.

You will be greatly missed, Gerry, but your life's work lives in on all those you coached and mentored over the years.

Bill Romberg
Class of '87

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 1:45:21 PM
Title: Thanks Coach Herp
Name: Mike Mullett
Message: To the Herp Family,
I want to send my sincere condolenses to all of you on the passing of the coach! He will be greatly missed.
As I look back I think I would do just about anything to have that one more shot at doing it again, not only because of the coach and how he brought together a bunch of small, undersized guys as a team, but how those guys played their hearts out for him. I remember getting our asses handed to us our senior year at Reese, down 20-0 at half time, when Coach gave us a eye-opener of a speech using every word known to a senior at that time and even more! We went on the win that game 22-20. All the way to you recieving Coach of the Year in '92 and Ubly gaining access to the playoffs for the first time!!! It was a priviledge and a great honor to play for you Coach. I know that you will be cheering for the boys this weekend!!
Thanks for the memories and God Bless!!

Mike Mullett Jr
Class of '93

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 1:38:04 PM
Title: Great Man
Name: Chris O'Mara
Message: I been sitting in front of this damn computer for almost an hour now. Trying to put my thoughts into correct words. This cannot be done. I'll just say this...I was a skinny little freshman kid when we met. I had no idea what it was like to really bust my ass. Well, he definately showed me how to bust my ass! He also showed me that I could do things. I never met anyone who showed so much confidence in me. He taught me to trust myself and just "run the g*d damn play and run it right!". I thank him for that and many other things. It was truly an honor to say I played for and shared memories with him. TRULY A GREAT MAN!!! A man who loved tires.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:25:17 PM
Title: In the arms of angels...
Name: Kerri Smith Dunton
Message: Well, I received the call today from both of my parents that Jerry had passed.  Jerry, much like the entire family, will always hold a special place in my heart as well as our entire families.  To the guy who had the best bear hugs and who was blessed with an awesome family, we will miss you Jerry Herp.  Love ya Elrae and girls.  I'm personally glad your family is in our life.  I'm pretty sure on of these wrinkles on my face is from all the laughter we have shared throughout the years.  God Bless you all!  God Bless you Jerry!!

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:11:40 PM
Title: Family Friend
Name: Shannon (Forman) Wichert
Message: I have had the privilege of knowing Jerry and his family most of my life outside the football fields and baseball/softball diamonds.  Amy is one of my dearest childhood friends.  

I have heard the stories of “football pep talks” from my brother.  Reading the previous comments on this website brings memories and a smile.  Jerry was a lot like my father, tough on the outside but a huge teddy bear on the inside.  So his stern demeanor never ruffled my feathers!

Coach Herp will be missed by his family, friends and the Community of Ubly who look upon him as a legend.  This website is a testament of what Coach Herp stood for….tough love and life lessons.

Lots of Love,

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 10:08:27 AM

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:53:26 AM
Title: One in a million man
Name: Megan Ruthko-Lamke
Message: There’s not enough time or words to express the importance your family has played in my life.  For 25 years Jeralyn has been my best friend, but Amy, Betsy and Rachael have been the big sisters I’ve never had.  You and Elrae have been there for me to share a lot of memories, tears and even some scolding!  

We will always have places like Puerto Rico to remember……but what I’ll cherish the most will be all the times we’ve gathered around the kitchen island to share a few stories, refreshments and laughter.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

I’m glad you are at peace now.

P.S. I’m sure going to miss seeing your blue Ford drive by keeping tabs on Dave and me.

Love always,

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:32:59 AM
Title: Herpski
Name: Jim LeCureux
Message: Jerry,

You were one of the first teachers I met when I came to Ubly.  We shared the old metal shed with the band and I enjoyed hearing your teaching techniques through the walls.  You had a very definitive way of getting your point across to your students.

I tried a few of your techniques, which they didn't teach me in Education 200.  I learned a lot from you.

Over the years, I was always amazed at how you could see what all 22 players did on a play.  Watching the game movies late on Friday night was always an interesting event.  I learned just by listening to you.

Now there are a few things that you, I and some others did that I can't share on this site but they are things that I laugh about and are the real memories that we will carry with us.  You enjoyed life.  

You had an impact on so many people in so many different ways you will never know.

I wish you, and your family the best.  Those of us that knew you are better because of you.

God Bless You,


Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:31:06 AM
Title: Bridging the Gap
Name: John MacEachin 63-66 asst. coach 83-98
Message: Anyone that bought into the system,Herp football, would be rewarded for life. There would be no problem they could not resolve nor any obstacle they could not overcome, by applying the principals Coach Herp had given them.
   When coach returned to Ubly football in 1983 there were many doubters. The most general comment being, "No way can he run his program the way he did in the past-the kids are different".
   What turned out, the music was different, the haircuts were different and there were a lot more cars in the student parking lot-- but these kids were still looking for direction and discipline more so than ever--AND THEY GOT IT!!!
   Whether the record was 9-0 or 0-9 the Bearcats gave it everything they hand.  Quote Coach Herp "We are sure not preparing to lose a game". A sportswriter once asked Coach Jack Dillon about the size difference on the upcoming game between Ubly and Harbor Beach, and Jack responded, "Gerry's players may only average 150 pounds, but they will be the toughest 150 pounders you'll ever face".
  So all of you Bearcats, who played for Coach Herp, are part of an elite group,wear that badge of courage with pride, and remember always the man who gave so much!

Thanks Coach

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 8:49:53 AM
Title: Herpie
Name: Lynn & Linda (Hammond) Smith
Message: We have had so many good memories...Cold Water Lake and the gang, all our kids growing up together and still remaining friends, the cottage we all had at Oak Beach and the fun bonfires, and the great times in Puerto Rico.  You and your family are the best!  You and your family are in our every prayer.  Love Lynn & Linda

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 7:16:19 PM
Title: Last Year
Name: Kyle Recker
Message: I was a Junior back in 2000 during coach Herp's last season.  We only won one game, but we were starting to get better.  The next year after he retired we made the playoffs and won Ubly's first playoff game.  Many times during that season us seniors used what we learned from him to help the younger guys on the Offensive line.  More than once someone would say, " You're lucky Coach Herp wasn't here to see that."  I only played for him for one year, but had some great football and nonfootball memories.

Whenever I was cutting the front lawn he would drive by in his blue Ford and wave.

He always called me "Gus" (my dad) at least once a day.

I'll never forget Nick Messing getting a huge slash on his hand after a game.  Coach sprayed him down with NitroTan as Nick yelped.  Coach walks by me further down the hall chuckling, "Better than a God damn infection."

"Quit playing patty cake Recker!"

One year later when he was retired on a Saturday at the Citgo in Ubly, "You boys did good last night, but damn it, you played patty cake the whole 3rd quarter Recker."

When Coach came to our Vegetable stand, he always like getting the sweet corn that was just barely starting to turn yellow.  He didn't like it "ripe."

He always called the guys in the parking lot with their music up loud "Honkies."

Seeing him in the parking lot after we just beat Burton Bendle.  He gave me and Troy Macker a nod, a handshake, and said, " You boys did good."

What I took away from Coach that last season when I was a Junior was that there are far worse things in life than losing a football game and getting yelled at.

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 6:31:40 PM
Title: Wyatt-Erp
Name: Smokey
Message: Wyatt Erp is what I always call you.  I have 50 stories to tell but will only tell to. Your answer " You're Welcome"

    Your're coaching the Ubly Bearcats and losing.  I'm umpiring behind the plate.  Our assessment of the strike zone differed several times and you kept reminding me.  I finally walked over to the bench and said, " You're having enough trouble coaching, don't try umpiring too".

    Ubly is playing Akron Fairgrove.  I made a small wager with my boss.  In the 4th quarter we're winning but not by enough points.  I'm on the phone in the booth and said "Wyatt, I need another T.D.  Your reply, "I need a case of beer.  In went the starters and we both collected.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

From Bonnetta, Chuck, Lynette and Me, who you lived with for 8 months.

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 2:46:05 PM
Title: "Coach" Herp
Name: Paul Engel 65-69
Message: It's been over 40 years since I last played for Coach Herp. You probably noticed by now that I always have called him "Coach".

He brought the "toughness" to Ubly Football that made Ubly the team no one wanted to play. But along with the discipline he demanded of his players he was always fair as well.

I was doing some work for the Brown City Schools some years ago when they had a very good team (undefeated at the time). Ubly came to town on their Homecoming night (Ubly had a subpar year) and just smoked the Green Devils. I talked to BC Coach Don Twiss a few days after the game and asked what happened and he said "I got beat by the best coach in the Thumb".

When I played baseball for Ubly, I'll always remember that Coach pretty much gave me the greenlight to hit away or steal a base or whatever. He was a great baseball coach in addition to football.

"Coach" - you are in out thoughts and prayers.

-Paul Engel or "Engler" as he always called me!

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 12:35:16 PM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Michael Sweeney
Message: I will have to say this is a great forum for everyone to leave messages for you.  There are some really great messages to cherish.  Thanks for creating it Betsy.  I’ve never met Betsy, but have met her younger sisters…first as “little coaching assistants” during after-school football practices…and later in life to meet Jeralyn (all grown-up) at Ubly Homecoming ’08, as we were guest judges for the talent show.  To meet her as a young lady and know that you shaped her “being” is a testament to who you are, for which you (and Elrae) should be very proud...and I'm quite sure the same applies for all your children.  I’ve heard you can’t measure a man by his stature, but you can by the size of his heart and will to persevere.  I’ve witnessed both your tough and soft sides as a man, and as any of the young men who have played under your guidance would attest…if we can measure up to be half that man, then we have nothing to be ashamed of.  

My brother once told me, “To serve our country is an honor for which all citizens should be required to perform, because the sense of pride that is instilled is unmatched”.  Though I never enlisted in the military, to play Ubly football for you, in my mind, was an equally satisfying honor.  You created the sense of pride that still carries on in the football program today…and for that we thank you.  We will forever hold a near and dear spot next to our hearts for how you helped nurture our core values, beliefs, and sense of pride.

Some of my favorite memories of you that come to mind:

- Telling the team in the locker room before practice one afternoon that our defensive pursuit was lacking effort and saying, “The only good example of defensive pursuit I’ve seen all season was the fumble recovery that Sweeney had last week against Mayville”…I think it was the only direct compliment I’d ever received from you….thanks for that…it’s the tallest “feather in my cap” to this day!

- Chris O’Mara twisting his ankle in practice and explaining what happened as to why his pass was late in getting to the receiver.  Chris told you, “I dropped back to pass and I planted my foot wrong”.  Your prompt retort was, “Did it grow?”

- Todd Macker getting hit in the “bread-basket” during practice, and as he was gasping for air and squirming on the ground you hovered over him, lifted him by the belt and with that “smirk of pity” on your face, told him that it would be okay and to relax.  Sorry Todd, but that was pretty damn funny to witness.

- Performing the Straddle “L” Press in the old gym during summer conditioning and no one could do it…you then proceeded to carry it back and around into a full handstand.   That pretty much defined your toughness to us at that moment.  We were all completely humbled by your display of strength at the young age of 50.

Hang in there Coach and know that we are proud of you.  If you have any ill feelings, keep them outside the room and tell Katie to, “Bar the Door”!  We’ll keep the positive energy, thoughts and prayers coming for you and your family.  Keep building your strength and get well soon.

Michael Sweeney
’87 and ’88 – Class of ‘89

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 12:16:57 PM
Title: Class of 1976
Name: Rosemary Weber Reddy
Message: Mr. Herp.
In my years growing up in Ubly, you were always a huge part of what made up the small town of Ubly, and, in particular, Ubly High School.  You were my brother's (Ron & Don Weber) coach, always tough but good.  I heard many stories about Coach Herp, so when I took driver's training, and you were the instructor, I was shaking in my shoes.  When you taught class, I didn't even consider not paying attention.  After all, you were Coach Herp!  When it was my turn to drive (for the very first time behind the wheel), my  family watched me back out of the driveway, wondering if I would hit Misico's curb across the street like everyone else did.  You took us to Bad Axe to experience driving in 'heavier traffic' where there was a stop light, and on top of all that we learned to parallel park with other cars around.  What a stressful experience and a big deal that was!  You were firm and I listened to everything you said.  At the same time you seemed calm and confident that I could meet these big challenges.  You were also my shop teacher.  My dad was a carpenter, so when I brought home a cutting board, I was quite proud that I had made something that turned out pretty decent, with a handle and everything!  You will be proud to know that my mom took quite a liking to that cutting board and used it in her kitchen from that day on.  As time went on and I went back home to visit, I saw you working around town, and we visited here and there.  Ah, life in Ubly... and so many good memories!  Looking back, I realized several things.  You were very brave to drive with inexperienced teenagers, you were tough because you cared, and you brought out the best in us.  You taught us well and earned our deep respect.  Now as you face some health challenges, know that my prayers are with you and that we are all rooting for you to be tough and get back to good health!

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 9:46:47 AM
Title: Past "Partmer in Crime"
Name: Joan Duff Pawloski
Message: Herpski!!!  Sorry to hear of the medical difficulties.  Oh the memories we have!!!  Ubly High School. I am proud to have once been a part of the UHS community.  My real introduction to Ubly  began my first year teaching there when I was invited to an "after football party" at your house, the first of many.  You and Elrae are very special friends of ours, even though we don't see each other very often. We do travel from NC occasionally and hope to see you when we come north again!!  Remember the words of the silly song we used to sing: "We never waver, we never fall...."  Hang in there!!!  Our love to everyone


Date Posted: 11/18/2009 9:38:35 AM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Patrick Steffen
Message: Coach,

Thanks for a lot of great memories, especially those practices where I learned what a "natural hole" was. You are in my thoughts.

Patrick Steffen '83-'86

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 8:42:07 AM
Title: Friend
Name: Clark Curtis
Message: Jerry,
Many people enter a person's life, but very few remain forever a part of a person's life.  You will always be a part of my life.  We shared a career, but more importantly a friendship. We shared many of the same situations in life, but moved on. You taught many of us how to perceive when life was not the best.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Date Posted: 11/18/2009 8:33:05 AM
Title: Dave and Thelma
Name: friends
Message: Hi, we are thinking of you and your family.
Keep on the sunny side of life and enjoy the Football game this week. Dave and Thelma

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 3:53:32 AM
Title: Coach
Name: Mark Dekoski 97-98
Message: I must admit that I have been dragging my feet to write something on here.  It seems everytime I would start to type it never seemed to say enough because, like many others, you were also the second most influential man in my teenage years.  
In reading others messages, I realized that most of my best memories of my football career are shared by hundreds and that in itself is amazing.  (the stare, run it again, god damn it, and nicknames are the on top)  

One additional memory I have to share is from all of the football team pep assemblies.  Coach had so much respect from not just his players, but the entire student body, he never needed to use the microphone in the gym.  You could always literally hear a pin drop in there!  Even after he said something that would make everyone cheer, the crowd would quickly return to silence to hear what else he would say.  I don't know why that stuck with me, but I can tell you from being a teacher just how amazing something like that is.

Coach, you have great "intestinal fortitude" and I "garr...entee" that you have countless people behind you as you walk through this battle.  Remember to keep your shoulders low, your head up, and feet moving!!

God Bless!

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 9:10:53 PM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: David Landeryou
Message: Dear Coach,
I want you to know what a great honor it was to play for you.  We all have our favorite Coach Herp stories or quotes ('If it hurts its doing some good") but most important is what we learned from you.  You taught us more than to be  tough ("tape it up and get back in there"), you taught us to be committed, dedicated, strong and to persevere.  You modeled for us what it meant to honest and authentic.  You were devoted and true to all of your players.  On behalf of all my fellow Bearcats, I want to thank you for the privilege and honor to be a part of your team.  God bless you and your family and I wish you all the best .  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dave Landeryou '83-'86

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 9:10:50 PM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: David Landeryou
Message: Dear Coach,
I want you to know what a great honor it was to play for you.  We all have our favorite Coach Herp stories or quotes ('If it hurts its doing some good") but most important is what we learned from you.  You taught us more than to be  tough ("tape it up and get back in there"), you taught us to be committed, dedicated, strong and to persevere.  You modeled for us what it meant to honest and authentic.  You were devoted and true to all of your players.  On behalf of all my fellow Bearcats, I want to thank you for the privilege and honor to be a part of your team.  God bless you and your family and I wish you all the best .  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dave Landeryou '83-'86

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 6:20:46 PM
Title: Great memories
Name: Paul LeCureux
Message: The spring before freshman year there was a meeting for new football players where the coach lets you know what the program is all about.  I still remember some of coach's messages.  One of the best was "that everyone gets knocked down but the test of a winner is who gets back up and back in the play."  He always told us, you may or may not remember everything that happens in school but you will remember the rest of your life what happens on the football field.

The determination and will power he instilled in his players made you tough mentally and physically.  Some of the greatest advice he gave about football were great life lessons.  

A few great memories... Standing at practice with him yelling " Run it again" then again in a game with the other sideline listening him yelling "Run It again!"

One day coach was unhappy with the effort( he had a term for that) so he took the snap in practice dropped back for a pass and forearmed the rushing defensive lineman.  We all stood their looking at each other.

Another time he was taping my ankle and telling me a story about himself playing ball and how he was not real big but he worked hard and picked himself up when things got tough.  I guess he was telling me something I needed to know. I think I weighed about 125 lbs.

It was an honor to play for Coach Herp.The memories and the guys I played with were some of the greatest times of my life.

Paul LeCureux
Player 1989-1992

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 2:57:45 PM
Title: How bad do you want it?
Name: Tom Beaver
Message: Anyone who has ever played a sport for Coach Herp has walked away with some "quote" of his and/or a nickname. If he was mad at you, for some reason he couldn't remember your name. He would call you by your dads name. "Rick! er....BEAVER!!
Everyone remembers the leg lifts as coach walked on everyones stomach. And the tires on Saturday morning just as the hot August sun rose in the distance. At the end of practice it was either gassers or "to the tree".
Some may not have noticed that the other teams wore arm pads or hand pads(AKA "wuss pads"), but not too many on Ubly did. I remember my hand hurting so bad, but didn't want to say anything. I finally had to ask coach to take a look at my hand. "Beaver, where did your knuckles go?" was his response as he chuckled. "Go get a wuss pad".
I remember Jeff Roberts running of the field holding his hand and seeing his pinky  at 90 degrees from the rest of his fingers. Coach "put it back into place", taped it, and told him to get back in there.
Deckerville joined our conference my senior year, and Coach said "Lets welcome them to the TCC". I remember us scoring our last touchdown, score 40something, us winning, Jason Maikrzek yelling "WELCOME TO THE TCC!!"
I remember:
Hey!! Dummy? What was that?

The "Meat Grinder"

Firemans carry-"to the tree"

"Beaver!! Getch ur ass down the line"(I was a pulling guard)

God damn it!! Run it again till we get it right.

Get to where you supposed to was!!

The last time I spoke with coach was at a basketball game @ 1995. He was standing with Coach MacEachin by the coaches office, as he always did. They both looked at me, and did a double take. "Beaver. What happened to you? Been workin out". "Yes" I said. "Up to 215 now"."Bet you wanna another year now don't ya?" he smirked. Yes. Yes I do.  

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 2:43:54 PM
Title: Kevin Block
Name: Class of '90
Message: It was an honor to play for you Coach Herp.  I did not have high expectations for my senior year as we lost a good deal of talent from the back-to-back league championships that Ubly won in the previous two years.  

You taught us that through grit and determination, we could prevail against stronger and faster teams.  While we our final record was only 5 wins and 4 losses, I don't know of a coach on the planet who could have gotten more out of our team.  

Best Wishes - Kevin Block, Class of '90

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 2:37:39 PM
Title: I want to wish you good luck and get better.
Name: Dale Walsh
Message: I hope you get better and you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Good coaches are hard to find.

-Dale Walsh

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 1:11:11 PM
Title: Spunk
Name: Michelle (Smigielski) Genis
Message: I remember being on the sidelines cheering and hearing Coach Herp rattle our boys with his words of "Get your a**es moving.  The spunk he had was picked up by the players, cheerleaders and the fans.  I guess you could say we were all Herpified!!

God Bless you Coach.  May He be beside you as you continue to fight.  

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 10:35:12 AM
Title: coach
Name: Jennifer Gamer-Monzo
Message: I didn't get a chance to know you...I only went to Ubly schools for my last 2  years of school. But you and your family are still in my thoughts and prayers. I sure hope you pull togather.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 9:12:55 AM
Title: Former Ubly Cheer Coach
Name: Liz
Message: I was very fortunate to be an Ubly Cheer Coach during Coach Herp's years at Ubly High.  I knew that when the cheerleaders boarded the bus to go to an away football game that they were in "good hands".  Tough as he may have seemed Coach Herp had and still has a heart of gold when it comes to the Ubly students and their safety.
We later became "carpool buddies", driving our daughters to dance classes, wondering where those little feet would tap to??? (Two beautiful young women)  Be Proud!!!
This cheer is for you Coach Herp, GO!! FIGHT!!! WIN!!!!
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.  

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 7:57:10 AM
Title: Damn-it all...Run that play again
Name: Dave Pokora
Message: My first memory of Ubly HS after transfering from Harbor Beach in '67 was the trophy case in the school's north end hallway.  I swallowed hard before I stepped into that damn old locker room for the first time.  The names and the faces I from the guys and from game films Coach Herp showed us before practice were of the great legacy teams. Bearcat players like: Boone Miller, Animal Leppek, Crazy Legs Hund, the twin Zs, Jon Zinger, Dan Abraham, Mike Milasco, Rook to name a few I even had the pleasure playing beside. The game films were of course, Dear Dummies, here is how-to-play Ubly football. Now that's how you block and run the 326.  On the side of those championship pictures was Coach Herp, shorter than his players but a giant who instilled a will to win in us all and a trait I would bet is with everyone of us till this day. Coach reminded us sometimes how some of his best players weighed 120 pounds soaking wet. I think Eric Czewski said it best in this wonderful blog... "i could do anything other people could do because of the heart you put into all of your players." We are who we are today because of our parents and our teachers.  You prepared us well Coach.  Those hearts and our prayers are with you and your family as you fight this thing.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 6:56:55 AM
Title: Jan Sageman
Name: friend, neighbor, former student
Message: Hi Jerry,

My first memory of you at UHS is having you come up behind me and grabbing my neck quite strongly and asking "How are you Miss Sageman?"  I always had to say fine or you would not let go of my neck!!!!  I have had the honor of having you as a teacher (you helped me make a checkboard in shop)a neighbor, and a friend.  Our families have shared many memories over the years and my thoughts have been with you during this difficult time.

Take care Jerry and Elrae!


Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:54:29 AM
Title: Challenges
Name: Ron Weber
Message: Hi Coach, I am sure things are difficult right now, but based on your persistence, work ethic and teaching everyone that obstacles are only what you make them, you will beat this challenge. Some of the things I remember most were all the “three a day” practices or better know as hell week. Practicing on Saturday or Sunday after a Friday night game that did not meet your expectations. And even going through tackling drills at half times of games when our defense was weak. Baseball was no different, when we would take infield practice, you would hit the ball harder than we would ever get hit to us during the game. All of this made the games fun because you had us in the best physical and mental condition possible. When we went off to college, even the BIG city kids knew about Ubly, because the traditions you started. I wish you the best as you work through this challenge and thank you for being part of my life.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 8:33:02 PM
Title: Coach Herp - The 2nd most influential person in my life
Name: Dennis Maurer  - 1963 -1965 FB team
Message: The most influential person in my life was my Dad, however Coach Herp was right there behind Dad in influencing who I was to become and what I did in life. You taught by example and “guidance” in practice, on the field and off the field. You emphasized how being prepared, (know as conditioning in football) being honest,  playing with integrity and perseverance were important on the field and that these qualities were important  no matter where life took you and enabled a person to do well no matter what life through at you.  I was not a regular starter even during my senior year, while disappointing I realized later in life that I was 2nd string on the best team in the league. That experience taught me that what was best for “the team” was important and what really mattered. My favorite Coach quote was “You play like you practice, if you practice sloppy you play sloppy”. I utilized that belief and quote many times in my life.  I was fortunate to have been part of the FB team that started it all back in 1963 we were (1-7) that first year and I believe the  team was 2 -6 or 1-7 for many years. In 1965,  for the first time in 32 years Ubly was undefeated (8-0), the first of many undefeated seasons.  Reading other entries from other members of “your team” caused me to remember for the first time in 40 + years that mine was “Meathead” long before Archie Bunker made it famous. I think it had something to do with my face always having blood on it after/during practice, who knows how or why it just was.

There always has been and always will be a special place in my life for “Coach Herp”. Coach it was truly an HONOR and a pleasure to be a member of “YOUR TEAM”. It was  great visiting with you last week catching up,  meeting a part of your family and  being able to offer words of encouragement to the toughest man I ever met.  

I know you can “tough it out”, get over this hurdle and we will all be able to have many more conversations regarding the great times we all remember being part of COACH HERPS TEAM.  

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 8:27:34 PM
Title: Thanks Coach
Name: Gregg Zulauf
Message: Coach,
Sorry to hear you are having difficulties.  It must be frustrating for someone who could will his teams to win and improve a life by caring - to suddenly find himself at the mercy of forces he can't fully control.  We all carry part of you with us and write to remind you what you taught us - that good guidance joined with hard work will usually get the result you desire.  And if you fall short - it's ok - as long as you have put every ounce of determination and pound of effort into the fight. This I trust you will do.   Advise. If your medical care is not up to your standards please do not refer to the provider as a meat-head or tell them they are dumber than a pet coon.  This type of motivation worked on us but probably won't get you the medical result you deserve. (I imagine you already knew this.)
I remember in my junior year I came to you looking for some help in making a steel rocket nozzle for my science project. You said you could not make it but would find someone who could. True to your word, I had a beautifully machined nozzle in a month's time and I could continue my project.  Your kindness must have really impressed me.  I still remember the details 40 years later! I still launch rockets and share the same kindness you showed me with young student engineers so they can pursue their passions.
THANKS coach. Be well. Best Regards,
Gregg Zulauf

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 7:14:49 PM
Title: Hi! Cousin
Name: bonnie ter meer
Message: Hi! JERRY,
I'm really impressed with this site. I hope your feeling better,
When I hear the coments about how you got your boys in shape, I now won't be so hard on those nasty coaches that yell at my grandsons.
take care and be good. Your in my prayers and thoughts daily--Give my best to Elray.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:33:51 PM
Title: Dr Ron Rook
Name: 65-69 Football & Baseball
Message: I have been following Ublys team and came across this Blog for you.  My wife thinks I am crazy that after all these years that I still follow Ubly sports and go to games.  Those years were very special to me and that was because of you.  I have so many memories but the one that stands out in my mind and changed things for me was you believing in me and giving me a chance even though I was so small.  I would get beat up & bruised and still it was the best thing I have ever done. I was truely sorry to hear you are not well.  I would love to give back some of the gift you gave to me - I have some connections at UofM.  Please let me know if I can do anything to help you at this difficult time.  Like Davey Johnson I will be at the game on Saturday I will be wearing my varsity jacket ( it kind of fits  HaHa ).
Of all the teachers I have had in my life you made the biggest impact and will always be the BEST!  
To us Old Gezers Ubly Football = Coach Herp

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 3:25:32 PM
Title: Now It's Our Turn
Name: David Johnston
Message: Coach Herp

My last sighting of you was at your retirement celebration in Ubly.  It was an honor to be there and to see the

warmth and respect you earned and deserve.  Sine I played both baseball and football for 4 years I really have

eight seasons with which to comment on.  While you are best remembered for your football programs, we had some

pretty good baseball teams also.  During my eight seasons we won six conference championships (three in

football..sorry about the 69 squad and three in baseball).  In fact during my four years at Ubly we lost fewer

baseball games than football.

Rather than have one big message you are going to hear from me several times as I have a lot to say. Payback is a

bitch. This message will be about your conditioning programs.  During hell week for the 69 season we were so bad

you had 3 a day practices.  Hell, I barely got done sweating and I to put the gear back on again. I would like to

mention that id God had wanted us to run wind sprints on all fours he would have given us four legs rather than two

legs and two arms.  In addition, most wheelbarrows have two handles in the back and one wheel in the front. Not

yours!  Yours consisted of two handles which were some poor suckers legs and his arms were the wheel.  Now with

someone holding the legs the other guy had to make it to the other end of the field using only only his hands. Now

that I have set the stage I can tell my first Gerry Herp story.  It was Sunday morning after we had a three team

scrimmage on Friday night.  We apparently were so bad you scheduled a practice for Sunday.  About 10:00 AM the

phone in my house rang (If caller ID had existed back then I would not have answered the phone) and you said the

town baseball team had a game and were short of players and wanted to know if I wanted to play.  If I did play I

would not have to practice with the rest of the team.  That had to be the biggest no brainer question I have ever

been asked.  The baseball team was playing Bad Axe, who back then were hated as much as any team Ubly played.  So

there I am, playing center field and just a few yards away there is all this noise coming from the football

practice.  You know, the coaches yelling and the players puking.  At one point I guess you had seen enough and made

the whole team run laps which included running behind the home plate fence and around all the light poles.  By then

the rut from the players spikes was about two feet deep.  Don Schelke, a pretty good athlete in his own right,

asked me if we always practiced on Sunday afternoon.  I told him no and he said OK.  I then told him we usually

practice in the morning AND the evening.  His comment was "holy shit I guess that explains why you guys never


I am driving to Michigan from Green Bay Friday and Saturday to see the game.  I hope you are able to make it.  I

will be wearing a black baseball cap with orange piping and an orange U on the front.  It is my Ubly baseball cap

from 1970 and I will wear it proudly.  Hopefully it won't smell too bad.

David Johnston
Football 1966-1969
Baseball 1967-1970

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 2:05:23 PM
Title: Bother-in-Law
Name: Jerry Nugent
Message: I watched you build a football program from nothing to SOMETHING!!  You created a football tradition, in Ubly, that has lasted 40+ years.
Your induction into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame is not the highest honor you have earned.  The biggest honor is the indelible influence you have had on the lives of the countless kids that have participated in your program. What a tribute!!!
Now, GET BETTER.  Your family and friends have plans for the future and those plans include you!!

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 11:58:28 AM
Title: 1976-1978
Name: Daniel Vitany
Message: I taught and coached in Ubly for my first full time teaching experience.  Coach Herp was already legendary.  We struggled mightily in those days to have competitive teams in just about any sport.  I'm glad to see U_B_L_Y is back on top in many sports.  My best regards to everyone in Ubly and to Coach Herp.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 11:02:48 AM
Title: Cousin- but more like a big brother
Name: Kristie McDowell-Karn
Message: Gerry, What can I say? I would share memories but there are so many good ones I wouldn't know where to start. You, Elrae, Judy & Arn were always there when Mom & Dad needed help, for that I will forever be grateful.
Tracy & I have always felt the Nugent siblings were always like brother & sisters to us & Aunt Dorothy & Uncle John were our second set of parents.  
Sue was right, "the look" was not just for your players but all of us who needed "guidance". So now I am sending you "the look" so hang in there & get better.  

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 10:56:09 AM
Title: a caoch worth playing for
Name: Eric Czewski
Message: In your first year back caoching in 84 you took on the imposible job of restoreing a dead in gone program that was in complete shambles. I was senior that year and had no intetions of playing for another loosing team that nobody would come out for. Well i came out after principal sweeney talk to me he told me that you would be caoching and that it would be a chase to play for a legend and that it would help save the football progam for the school. So i played and i was sure glad i did. sure we lost every game but i could see the seeds of somthing great beeing sone the way you caoched us and showed us what greatness was. when you put on the helmet and started running that just made my year. when i tackled you it was grabing on to bear. i was so surprised that you were so strong it was  unreal. and when you say run and get a leaf and bring it back and i grabed a branch and came back with it and you laughed your ass off. 1984 was a long time ago i have been though many thing since then. but i will always rember the things you taught us never quit never die never give up no matter what the score or the situation. i never did caoch i always fight the good fight and always give 120 percent just like you taught us. when i was in the marine corp they put me though the most hell a man could go though but i could do thing other people could because of the heart you put into all of your players. your the kind of guy that sombody same the odds are a million to one and you'd say i like them odds. by you coming back to caoch you saved the ubly football program and you have given my son and his friend memories they never have if you would not have  stepped in. thankyou caoch for everything. good luck and i don't have to even say it but don't give up!!!!!!!!!!

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 8:30:43 AM
Title: keep low-keep going
Name: bob beck
Message: Hi Herp- A word of encouragement from an old classmate and friend from Hopkins. I see Ubly won again last Sat. keeping up the winning tradition you started in when at Hopkins in the 1950's. I remember you more as a quarterback then a coach but you were good then also. Keep healing

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:38:18 AM
Title: Old Friend
Name: Marilyn Beckman/Pickerel
Message: Only fond memories, Jerry.  It's been a long time.  My kids,Tracy and Mardy, lost their dad this summer.  Perhaps when you walk through those famous gates you can have a conversation. Say hello to Jeff for me too.  God Bless you, Jerry.  Sincerely, Marilyn

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 8:29:58 PM
Title: Best Wishes
Name: Gail Wodwaska Briolat
Message: My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.  You certainly are someone fondly remembered by all UHS students during your coaching yrs.  As as class of 1989 graduate and friend to this day of many of your players during that time, I know you were and are highly respected by the young mens lives you touched.  I always said "if you told them to line up and jump in the lake, they were not have asked a question and did it" simply because you said to.
My mom also got to know you and your family during the years Bill McDowell was her friend. Mom also enjoyed the time spent with all of you.

Best wishes for restored health.

Gail Wodwaska Briolat

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 8:12:51 PM
Title: Playing for a Legend
Name: Brad Maurer (1992 & 1993 teams)
Message: Coach Herp,

Just wanted to let you know how much playing football for you meant to me.  Growing up watching the success Ubly had in the late 80's, it was every kids dream to play football for you.  Here are some of my greatest memories both football related and non football related.

Football Memories:
- The halftime speech you gave us against Reese in 1992. We were losing 0-20 at halftime.  You were so mad you told the first string to call their own plays on the first possession of the third quarter.  If they didn't score, you were pulling everyone.  They did score, and we went on to win 22-20.
- The speech you gave us after we lost to Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher in the playoffs in 1992.  We played our guts out and lost a heartbreaker 21-14.  When you came on the bus, most of the team was crying.  You didn't get choked up, but it was the closest I ever saw you get to that point.  You told us we played a hell of a game and had nothing to be ashamed of.
- In 1993, I threw 4 interceptions in a big loss to Reese.  The next week against Sandusky, the first play you called was a pass (which we completed for a big gain).  Passing was not your favorite thing to do.  But I think there were a lot of times when you had more confidence in me than I had in myself.

Non Football Memories:
- In 1996 my mom and dad's business had a fire.  The next morning you were one of the first people to stop by to see if we needed help.  That meant a lot to us, and we still haven't forgotten it.
- My senior year in baseball, I started the season in a bad slump. You did not coach baseball anymore, but you told me when you hit, you used to split your hands (like Ty Cobb).  Figuring I had nothing to lose, I tried it and went on to hit .485 for the year.

You mean a great deal to people in this area, and we're all pulling for you to get better. Hang in there, and keep up the good fight!

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 6:43:05 PM
Title: My freshman year
Name: Jordan Kaufman
Message: I was playing my first game on varsity againts Marlette as a freshman. We wern't playing particularly well that night and we knew halftime wasn't going to be pretty because Coach Sweeney was not happy. Instead of Sweeney coming on the bus and chewing us a new one you did. At the time i really didn't know what to think i was kind of intimidated. Looking back at it now it is still engraved in my mind the way you motivated the players. It was a one of a kind strategy.  Calling us a bunch of no good..... It was one of the most intense speeches I have ever heard. Get well Coach were all pulling for you.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 6:13:04 PM
Title: Favorite Cousin
Name: Mimi Herp
Message: Hello Favorite Cousin Jerry,
I was directed to this fantastic  website  “ALL ABOUT YOU” by your sister Jan!!! It is my pleasure to read about my FAVORITE COUSIN’S CAREER written by those who have SO MUCH RESPECT and LOVE for YOU!
I will remind you next time I see you personally Jerry, the highlight  of many Friday evenings,  during YOUR high school football  season was:
when YOU,  your Mom, Dad, Jan and Dort, would visit my family after some of the home football games.  How fun and exciting for me to get to see you!  I was about 7-9  then and times have not changed the effect your presence has on my spirit.  
The tell all “OF WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF” was so very evident in November of 2006.  “F.C Jerry” you drove to Wayland MI  in order to personally express YOUR condolences  to my sister’s family when their son/brother Kris was killed during an explosion at his work.  YOU ARE so very THOUGHTFUL, SYMPATHATIC and EMPATHATIC.  YOU have HONORED OUR FAMILY WITH YOUR KINDNESS during this VERY DIFFICULT TIME.  
We know of your LOVE and we are forever GRATEFUL to YOU!!!!
WE are looking forward to your improved health.  You are in our THOUGHTS, PRAYERS and DEEPLY IMBEDDED into OUR HEARTS.

Mimi (Herp) Byrne and Family

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 5:56:52 PM
Title: coach herp
Name: jeanie dexter
Message: hello cousin  how are you doing i hope better hang in there.  
your cousin  

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 4:16:08 PM
Title: coach
Name: Lisa Lemanksi Boggs
Message: I never did have occasion to talk with coach Herp but he is still a vivid memory for me. Being a cheerleader from 86 to 89 at UHS i was around him enough to see what kind of coach he was. He is the kind of person you notice just by the way he walks and conducts himself. I also saw him around town when he was with the DPW since i work for the Post Office and deliver the mail in town. Funny how you cannot even know a person personally and still have memories of them that stand out. That's has to say something about a person. Get well soon coach Herp you've got things to do.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 1:59:37 PM
Title: Your the Best
Name: JoAnn Weber Rutkowski
Message: Gerry and Elrae,

Gerry has been a constant in the Ubly Bearcat football program and I remember hearing Coach Herp stories from my brothers Ron & Don Weber in the 70's. He was a big influence on many a young man and has helped shape their lives. When my brother Don would visit from California he made a point to find Gerry somewhere in the village and visit with him.
I had the pleasure of babysitting for Amy, Jeff and Betsy during the summer when Elrae was attending college and Gerry was teaching drivers training and saw a much softer side of him with his children. Then came time for me to take driver's training and wow was he tough; he certainly put the fear of God into you while driving. I still remember hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel!

The next memory for me was when my son Joseph played for the Bearcats in the middle 90's. One thing Joseph said to me after high school graduation was "I wish I could play football for one more year". That certainly sums up my thoughts on Gerry and what an impact he has had on so many young men and women from Ubly High School.

We will be praying for your return to good health, you certainly deserve it!

JoAnn Weber Rutkowski

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 11:13:29 AM
Title: Hi Jerry From Alabama
Name: Shelley Gay (Betsy's friend)
Message: Ok Coach...

Not sure if you remember me, but I am the girl who has the little cabin in the woods that Betsy lived with when she first moved to the great state of Alabama.
We are sitting on the same porch we did several years ago, and thinking of you.

Even a girl like me, who is a football retard, (sorry for all those "PC-ers" out there blame it on the South) I know sometime you have to fall back and punt to get that ball through those two little posts, rather than sending your big strong fella's to push through the line.  
I know that you are pulling back and setting your eye on the kick, that will push you and your famiy to victory.
I am your little Bama cheerleader, your daughter's cheerleader and praying for a recovery for you.
Go Team!! Get better and get your buns back to Alabama before that dreadful snowy season..


P.S. - point made, Bets just told me it is not a "punt" to the goal post, it is a kick.. ( she is laughing at me.. glad I read this to her before I sent it :))  Bear Bryant would be so sad.. Oh well, point is, get better. See you soon.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 6:33:08 AM
Title: Would have made some playoff noise
Name: Warren Nugent
Message: Every year at this time I think what would have been if they would have had a playoff system during the 60's & 70's.  You built several teams that sure would have made a lot of noise in the playoffs.

Date Posted: 11/14/2009 9:33:58 PM
Title: Watch out, Herp has the helmet on!
Name: Gary Zulauf  64-68
Message: Sorry to hear about coach's medical challenges.  He's one tough cookie so it will not be surprising to see him in the endzone on this one.  If we weren't doing it right, he would put the helmet on himself and show us.  It got our attention.  Coach has given so much to so many.  We are all with you on your journey back to good health.

Date Posted: 11/14/2009 7:56:12 PM
Title: from the coachs daughter
Name: amy #1 daughter
Message: Yes we had nick names usually like Amz, Amelia, Betz, professor, Rach, Racoon, Boofy. But there were days that we were cream puffs, pansy and so forth, but how else was he going to get the cords of wood carried into the basement. My dad was great for motivating and getting the job done. My dad believed in hard work for everyone, girls included. I remember a few friends that had boys and girls in their family they questions our chorers as not being gender specific, which in a family of girls there weren't. Another tip for fathers of girls only, pack what you can carry. For all of you prior driving training students I like to add that I had to master a standard transmission, changing the oil, and a tire change before I was able to get my drivers license. I think he got easier on each daughter, driver critera.Oh, and drivers training never ends.  
Fall for most of you is about football but I am the daughter that confuses an inning with a quarter what sport is that? Football season was great, pizza Friday, halftime shows and cheerleading. The fall smells, colored leaves and leave piles and the crisp air and excitment of Friday night football, the biggest social event in Ubly maybe Huron county.
Through the years I have heard the success stories, and the honor to play for your dad. The most commical thing that an ex- player said, was that your dad had a nicer chest than I did. A dear friend use to say how can you be so tough on your player and such a push over with your own kids. My dad is a very tender hearted man who's eyes, easily swell with tears. My dad told me that there are three things that he felt made his best players, smart, athletic, and heart. Lacking any of these skills compromised thier ablities. And I would dare to say this might be the three components a good man. You have beaten odds before, I know that your going to win this one too!  

Date Posted: 11/14/2009 7:40:35 PM
Title: Get Well Coach
Name: Joe Rutkowski
Message: Get well and best wishes to one of the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure to know.  Through coaching, or just in the summers after graduating, talking to you was truly a treat.  Memories for me go back to when I was just a 7th and 8th grader, and being the ball boy with Tony Tyll.  We would get to run out on the field and get the tee after kickoffs, as well as ride the bus to road games.  What an experience that was.  I was proud to be able to be on the sideline for the very first playoff game for Ubly, @ Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher, even though it was only as a ballboy.  I was always so afraid of getting in your way.  You taught all who got to play for you, the right way to play, and it has carried on through life for all of us.  THE STARE!!!! stayed with you for all of your coaching career.  I can't think of any other 65 year old man that I was more afraid of, but that I knew always had the best intentions.  From the nicknames, White Shoes, Antucks, just to name a few.  The time I knew that you trusted in me, was when I talked you into going for a fourth and one against sandusky instead of punting when we were around the fifty and had a slim lead late in the game.  Thankfully we pick up the first down and won the game, b/c I didn't want to face you if we hadn't.  It was the most nervous I ever was calling a simple 111.  You are a great man, and your "intestinal fortitude" lives on in all of us.  Get well, I am praying for you, and you will pull through, b/c goddammit you're Coach Herp!!  Stay Strong!!

Date Posted: 11/14/2009 1:34:17 PM
Title: Favorite Brother
Name: Younger sister,Jan
Message: Hey Bro, Do you remember when you wanted help with your pitching skills? You would have me stand against the cement block garage and you would "practice your many different  throws" always getting as close to me as possible,without actually hitting me. What a sister won't do for her favorite brother.  Cliff and I are praying for you to get stronger so you can have that transplant. God  has a mission for you.

Love ya, Sister Jan

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:14:44 PM
Title: Coach
Name: Eric Maurer
Message: Coach

Wishing you well and we’re sure you’ll beat this thing. Thanks for taking the time to care. You and your family are in our thoughts.

Eric and Ev Maurer

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 8:33:33 PM
Title: "Get At It"
Name: Charlie Zinger
Message: So frustrated to have just learned of your current challenge, Coach, but am confident you'll handle this as you have the many you've faced since you arrived in Bearcat Territory back in '63.  My guess is that you have little recollection of this little dittie that I shared during one of our Varsity Club meetings in late '64, early '65.  Obviously, I've kept it in my UHS archives and as I read if for the first time in more than 40 years, I couldn't help but think of how much it applies to what your current mindset needs to be...and most certainly is.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you...Be Well.

Charlie Zinger (UHS-'65)


“Get at it,” he bellows at all of the fellows
in Football, Baseball and Shop.
“Get at it,” he roars and rattles the doors,
but no one wants him to stop.

He’s in around Eight, he never comes late;
he’s driving his big red Ford.
He’s walking the halls and checking the stalls;
by Nine, he won’t be ignored.

“Get at it,” we hear, while feeling some fear
that, somehow, he’s just found us out.
“Get at it,” he glares, and nobody dares
to give him a reason to shout.

He challenges all to always stand tall,
to never give less than our best.
He won’t accept ‘can’t’...it stirs up his rant
that we’ve got to stand high ‘bove the rest.

“Get at it,” we know, wherever we go,
will help us to never say “quit.”
“Get at it,” we’re sure will help us endure.
We’ll always be proud of it.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 6:43:59 PM
Title: All from the back yard...
Name: Jacqueline Weber Smith UHS 1994
Message: Coach Herp... Just wanted to wish you well... let you know that I was thinking about you and praying for you.  

Most of what I heard about Coach Herp was from the boys in school... but there was certainly a fair amount of yelling that I could hear from my own backyard!  Every fall, as the helmets went on and fall practice began I would hear whistles, drills, sprints and of course, "encouragement" from the coaches!  I don't know if it was all understandable by the time it reached the Weber house, but there was no doubt what it meant by the tone!  Ahh yes, two-a-days meant whistles were blowing before I was even out of bed some mornings!  

Thanks for the memories!  Probably a big reason that I'm such a huge football fan today!  Nothing like the sound of shoulderpads cracking to get a girl excited about the fall!

Best wishes to you Coach Herp.  Take care.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:01:06 PM
Title: Well Wishes From a Former Hatchet
Name: Heather Harwell
Message: Mr. Herp, You are in my prayers and well wishes.  I hope the best for you in your medical re-evaluation.  You will definitely be in excellent hands at UofM! - Heather

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 12:40:50 PM
Title: Coach Herp
Name: Anne and Dennis
Message: Dear Jerry,
We will always thank you for introducing us to  Peurto Rico. A great island and people as you know so well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You've been a great coach and inspiration. You turned boys into young men!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 8:13:55 AM
Title: One of the best
Name: Max Hammond
Message: I sure hate to hear you're not doing so well, my prayers are with you. If you're still as tough as I once knew you, there will be no problems recovering.

Best of luck, Max

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 8:14:44 PM
Title: Hola!
Name: Sue Dennis-King
Message: I am a cousin-in-law for those who might not know me.  I don't have any football storiesto share. But I do have a lot of really good times/memories that were shared with the Herps/Nugents.
However, I want all to know that Herp's "The Look" has been received by many on/off the playing field.  Even though we are close in age...on many an occasion he has made clear his thoughts on a subject by saying simply....Now Susan...followed by the infamous "The Look".  Only my mother can do that better.
You have team members everywhere and we are all cheering for you Jerry!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Sue  :>)

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 7:06:29 PM
Title: New Title
Name: Betsy Daughter #2
Message: Wow, Jim Z's "Do you want to play football or dance with the girls?" never heard that one before - I think we have a new title for the book. The real question is why did he say that? Probably because one of you yahoos were checking out the cheerleaders instead of watching the game or listening to him. If I am wrong enlighten us... Also my dad hates Band music (and most music in general) so that was really a pretty low blow to you guys at halftime. Sorry to all the Band loving people (I love music so it's been difficult for me too). How did the rest of that halftime speech go? Dead silence or yelling and hollering? The only song I EVER heard him say that he liked was (I hope everyone is sitting down for this...) 1985 listening to WJR in the truck driving somewhere and Katrina and the Waves came on the radio playing "Walking on Sunshine". It is the damn happiest foot tapping song you will ever hear and I couldn't believe he said as he turned it up "I really like this song!" Huh? Who are you and what have you done with my dad?

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 6:49:57 PM
Title: Keep your Head up!!
Name: Wayne Sweeney
Message: First off all coach, hang in there with these pesky health problems. We're all pulling for you.  Like you told us so many times..."Keep your head up!!"

Just a couple memories...
The time at Mayville in '94 when you told the bus driver at halftime to leave the door of the bus open because, "The band's playing a lot (bleeping) better than these guys are!!"
Not a single member of that '95 team will forget the magic of that fall. We had no size, not much speed, and not a ton of talent.  What we did have was great coaching, and a winning attitude you and John instilled in us.  I'll always remember you telling us that year, "There's only one way to get anywhere in football and life, and that's with hard work".  

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.  Hang in there and get well soon.  

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 6:24:43 PM
Title: Keep Fighting Coach
Name: Chris Tyll
Message: Coach-

I started "working" the sidelines for you in the '87 season as an extremely impressionable nine year old.  I can remember trying to stick as close as I could in order to hear the play call on all those Friday nights.   Every Saturday and Sunday I would be in the front yard calling the same plays and practicing to be the next Chris O'Mara.  Years later you afforded me the opportunity and we had a nice run together...even if you spent half the time calling me Ligrow.  

As a child you don't understand the lessons you are learning until much later.  The work ethic, discipline, and teamwork you instilled in the program gave everyone who passed through that old locker room the skills to succeed in life.      I am a better man, brother, son, and father for the lessons learned under your leadership.  

-Chris Tyll

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 5:51:03 PM
Title: The Big Question
Name: Jim Z  (70 thru 73)
I knew there had to be a reason we have not seen the always present figure standing just beyond the north endzone at home games.

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 4:07:17 PM
Title: get well
Name: jerod the 1 grandson
Message: get well soon

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 1:50:40 PM
Title: To a man I never met
Name: Bulldog fan
Message: Though I have never met this man I wish the best with his health, he sounds like a great coach, father and person.
Summerfield Bulldog Fan

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 1:30:29 PM
Title: Thanks!!
Name: Janelle (Schrader) Pallas
Message: I honestly don't even know where to begin!!  I have so many memories and stories that I could share!  I have had the priveledge of being coached by Mr. Herp in softball, being a part of his life through my friendship with his daughters, and working for him for the DPW for several summers.  

I was a highly unusual candidate for the job being a wimpy girl and all, but somehow I kept getting hired to come back over the years.  To keep my grandpa from rolling over in his grave, I won't share many of the stories from the DPW!!  But I can gurantee Rachel and I will never forget them!!  I will say looking back on those days, I am amazed at what I was able to accomplish just because Mr Herp expected it out of me.  Even though I thought he was completely crazy several times (a day!!), he just had that way of making me do what I thought was impossible.  And yes...I did receive that "look" of his many times when I would have to go find him and let him know that I made a stupid mistake, but somewhere under all that toughness, he had a soft side too.  He would just let me know how I "should have done it" and then would tell me how to fix it.  It was always a great feeling though to finish a job that I never thought I could and I will never forget that!  I do have to say though, that somehow I still do not know how to drive a stick shift even though that is what the village truck was.  This is definite proof that Mr Herp has a sensitive side (he may not want you to know that though!!) because if I needed to drive somewhere, he would  actually let me take his own personal truck so that I wouldn't have to drive the stick shift (or else Rachel would have to drive the DPW truck!!)  I bet there is still yellow paint on his truck today!!

I also have to personally thank Mr Herp for being my softball coach.  I learned a lot from him about the game and definitely learned how not to be a wimp!!  I remember playing third base for him and he would make me stand so close to the batter that I thought for sure that my head would be getting knocked off...but it never did.  He knew what he was talking about after all.  He made sure we learned the fundamentals and even went as far as making every single one of us bunt for practically the entire game, cause dang it, we were going to learn how to bunt and how to do it well!!  I did even  manage to get in on the football side of things by keeping stats for him!!  You can't possibly be a part of his life without being involved in football somehow!!  

I also got to know him well from being friends with his daughters.  I got to see him as a father and he treated me like one of his own.  I always seemed to end up helping Rachel with one the the crappy jobs that her dad was making her do!!  

Mr. Herp...you are a great man and I appreciate all that I learned from you over the years!!  Now when I see you, that "look" of yours that I got when I messed up on the job or on the softball field is replaced with a friendly smile.  I wish you and your family all the best in the world...and thank you for being you!!


Date Posted: 11/12/2009 10:23:57 AM
Title: Mr. Herp
Name: 1972
Message: The Waiting World

There’s many a fool
  Will throw in the tool
When he thinks the job is too tough.
  The man worthwhile
Is the one who can smile
  Whenever the going gets rough.
There’s many a plan
  That’s wrong for a man
Could he but see the return.
  To be on his way
He must honestly say,
 “I’m ready and willing to learn”.
For life is a job
  And trouble may rob
The heart of its reasons to try.
  The door just ahead
Is the one that we dread,
  But pass it and obstacles fly.
Now life is a cinch
  If bought by the inch,
By the square yard, it’s a chore
  The man who begins
And fights till he wins
  Is the man that the world’s waiting for.

                         --Alice Leedy Mason, from IDEALS
Mr. Herp,

I’m not sure what obstacles (if any) await you behind the door.  You are an inspiration for so many people.  Never forget having a perfect season end on a kick-off to start the second half.  With the game ending on that score, we boarded the bus for the trip home.  There was dead silence.  You were the last one on, looked at us and said, “You have no reason to hang your head”.  The following year we completed a perfect season.  I remember you in the locker room after the game, you were so happy.  Having experienced the lows and the highs, there is no better warrior one could ask to do battle with, than you.

Someone once said, "Seven days without prayer makes one weak."  We will pray for you and your family to have the strength to pass this obstacle.

Get well soon!

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 8:35:15 AM
Title: Praying for ya Gerry!!!!
Name: Cameron Harwell, former BAHS MIDDLE LINEBACKER
Message: hey Gerry!!!  Just got back in touch with Betsy via Facebook.  I'll say a prayer for ya.  I stil remember you as one of the toughest coaches around.....despite the 63-0 thrashing we gave  your team my Sr. year...but hey  Ubly wasn't really ever in BAHS' class...LOL!!! Just kidding Gerry.  Take care of yourself and God Bless.

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 6:22:45 AM
Title: COACH
Name: Joe Kubacki 85'86'87&88'
Message: Coach Some of my memories include doing firemen carries through the tires oh yes the tires loved them. How about when you would walk on our stomach while doing leg lifts or throwing a football at our stomach while doing them. How about the 72-8 whooping we put on Reese.I could go on and on and on. If there will be a book I can contribute many stories and memories that I have of coach. Just hit me back.
I know coach you will be fine you are the toughest S.O.B I know and probably will ever know.
You will be in my thoughts,
Joe Kubacki Class of 89'

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 4:50:00 AM
Title: get well
Name: aryel your favorite grandaughter
Message: I love you grandpa and get well soon xoxox

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 5:14:09 PM
Title:        -        Coach       -
Name: Dennis Wyrick  '90
Message: Coach……..

Thoughts that come to mind

Machine… Machine… Machine…

Meat Grinder

Hell Week

Take another lap Wyrick


Leg Lifts (and not only leg lifts but walking on our stomachs with cleats Leg Lifts)

Old School Football

God damn it   Run it again…..

Grab your bonnets, and get back out there

And that damn look you gave when I screwed up    Guarantee everyone who reads this knows what I’m talking about if they got that look!  Had the pleasure of that look, both in football and working at the Ubly Village Depot.

I wanted to give a very sincere thank you to what you represent and have passed along to all of us.   Leadership, Toughness, Integrity, Commitment and take no shit from anyone/run em’ over!  There is rarely a time when we all get together, that when we talk Football (UBLY Football) that there is that sense of pride that we played for Herp.  Thank you Coach for all the memories and wishing you and your family the Best.


Date Posted: 11/11/2009 11:04:12 AM
Title: Coach Herp's Last Game
Name: Aaron Maurer
Message: Coach Herp asked of few of the JV players to come up and play on the varsity for the last game of the 2000 season. For myself, Craig Helewski, and Matt Romain, the decision was a no-brainer.  It was my dream growing up to play on Friday nights for the Bearcats.

It's an honor to have played for Coach Herp in his last game.  I still have the "Herp" sticker we put on the side of our helmets that night.  Only being 14 years old at the time, it took me a few years to realize the legend I played for.

There were tons of memories from that night, but one is more painful than all the rest.  I wasn't aware of Coach Herp's ankle taping tendencies.  He didn't believe in using the pre-wrap fabric that made it easier to remove the tape after the game.  Needless to say, I was pulling adhesive off my ankles for about a week.

Keep fighting Coach, we're all pulling for you.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 7:26:30 AM
Title: Yep, that's my dad
Name: The Youngest One
Message: As Coach Herp’s last daughter, it’s difficult to decide which stories to tell and which to keep to myself… there’s a great deal of really great ones… but I always need to stay on his good side!  ?

I thought my dad was amazing by his forever youthfulness, even though my dad was quite old when I was growing up, he usually seemed 10 years younger than he was. When he was approximately 53, Rachel was 13, and I was 11… we challenged each other to about a 50 yard dash…this was an all out sprint…I tried my very best, and Dad WON!  It wasn’t that we girls were slow, the man was in very good shape!

The man could and can do just about anything… and most of it he preferred to “coach” everyone else at.  He always had a strategy to get it done better or faster… you should have done it this way.  Playing cards with him usually turned into a lesson of hindsight.  Oh, and I still get taught how to drive by him.  There’s only one thing I can recall him saying he could not do and that is to hold a phone between his shoulder and his chin.  I don’t believe this bothered him too much, but I remember him mentioning this.

My dad never made any of us believe that there was anything we couldn’t do if we really wanted to.  He had us all swinging hammers as soon as we could hold one up.  Although he said he would like his daughters to try and play football, he never pushed us too hard, just encouraged us to do well at what we did.   Rachel chose to be water girl; I decided to hang out near the cheerleaders.  Dad was okay with both of us doing what we liked to do, as he still is.   He used to watch me practicing my dance steps and said to me once, “You should teach my football players to move their feet like that.”

For those of you who never witnessed my dad walking on his hands, I’m sorry for that because he was a champion at it.  I witnessed him doing this in his late 50s.   I love the story of him making the team run the stairs in the Ubly High School (this was during the 80s and I’ve heard it from 2 different players, so I hope I repeat it accurately).   The guys were whining a little more than my dad wanted to hear.  So, he said, you guys are a bunch of “cream puffs”, (one of Herp’s favorite phrases) “I could go all the way up and down these stairs on my hands,”… and he did, followed my numerous more laps for the players.

I did have the opportunity to have my dad as a coach for two summers.  He led us to many victories in our “girls babe ruth” summer softball league.  He taught us a lot, gave most of us nicknames (Betsy was mine, and I wore it proudly in the game of softball), and he was a tough coach, which says a lot.

I don’t think I need to mention how many football players were brave enough to date Coach Herp’s daughters.  Oh wait, I don’t think there were any, or at least none brave enough to come to the front door of the house.  

My dad was/is tough, as most of you would know, but he has an amazingly sensitive side to him too.  When I decided to take over the dance studio at the age of 20, my dad disagreed.  “You should finish your college education first.”  When my reply was, “If I wait, I will have missed my chance, and this may be a once in a lifetime chance.”  He asked, “Is this what you really want?”  I said, “Yes.”   He threw up his hands and said ok, do it.  Eight years now, and he hasn’t missed a dance recital yet.  He actually watches them too, because I hear his advice (coaching) on it, every year.  Thanks, Dad!

I would love to hear more about my dad from his previous players and friends, maybe part of a halftime speech, or anything motivational.  Anything positive is so appreciated.   Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, they have gotten us through some tough times!

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 7:09:04 PM
Title: Remembing The 70"s
Name: Diana Partaka-Schumacher
Message: Never a quiter always a fighter, that was you and now. Gee all those great times in Drivers Ed. Hated every minute of it, but you always make life exciting and our group in the car interesting, Audrey Morrell, Myself, Pat O'malley and I cannot remember the other person. But hey I passed, so things were good.
Remembering the Gekle boys (your star players) and oh how us girls thought that they were the greatest. Riding the players bus as a cheerleader was the best, mine you I was only 16 at the time, so boys especially the team were the greatest.  It funny how we go through life and remember when we need to tell someone thank you for teaching us about some of life's lesson, when we long ago should have told them thank you.   Well thank you Coach Herp for all you have done all you will do and for all the great memories. You will rise above and over come this battle of yours. I will forward this to my daughter Dana O'Connor now Dana Crumpton, attached is a picture of me and Dana's  little one Trace. Just think I have seven grandbabys, which includes my husbands children, man I'm getting old. We love them all. You will be in my prayers and thoughts and I cannot wait to hear that you are up and at it again.   Cheers :) Sincerely Diana Partaka-Schumacher

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 6:51:51 PM
Title: 'Pirate' Wishes
Name: Greg Semp
Message: Coach Herp -

I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.  Best wishes to both you and your family during these difficult times.  God Bless You...


Greg Semp
HB Class of '95

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 5:20:39 PM
Title: Ubly 20  Bad Axe  16
Name: Rex Tyll
Message: Do you remember calling this play.
Ubly 20   Bad Axe 16
That should bring back some good memories. Year 1986  

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 5:17:22 PM
Title: Herp Stone and Gravel
Name: Andy Gray
Message: Though football is one thing we have in common, it is not the reason that I have became friends with Mr. Herp. The few years that I have known him, he has been a true friend and father. A family man that has taken my wife and daughters in as they were his own.  Mr. Fuzzy and Miss Elrea are a part of my family's lives and always will be.  We are the lucky ones for being apart of such a great family.  Those who know him, know what he is all about, if not , just ask, he'll tell you.  A true friend that I look forward to talking to every week.  God Bless!
Your Puerto Rican Buddy.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 3:54:10 PM
Title: Hi!!
Name: Beth Beaudin
Message: Dear Coach - I heard, only some of the storeis my Dad told me about playing football for you as I grew up. You had a profound impact on him, and in turn on me. Thank you for that! And thanks for the nickname...I can still remember you calling me boof! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 1:49:26 PM
Title: Hello from Lake Orion
Name: Lee Armstead
Message: Hello Coach Herp,  I don't know if you remember me since it's been over 45 years since I played for you in your first year at Ubly as head coach in 1963. We finished the football season at 1-7 (great coaching, bad players-ha!ha!)We did redeem ourselfs in baseball where you led us to the league co-championship with Mayville.  I was your catcher on the team.  You sure had some great undefeated teams in football and I'm sure if there were state playoffs at the time, you would have won a state title for Ubly a time or 2.  I was up in Ubly over labor day and took a quick tour of the new football and baseball fields, I know you must have had a impact on getting these fields build.  Was at Ford Field last year during the great run by the football team and couldn't help but think that in that huge crowd of Ubly fans you were seated somewhere cheering the CATS on.  In life there's people you never forget and the impact they had on others and coach your one of them.  My prays are with you and your family.  Lee Armstead-u.h.s.-class of 1964.    

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 12:58:52 PM
Title: hey
Name: Jesse
Message: I never knew you. Actually never even heard of Ubly until I transferred from A-F to USA. But those Bearcats sure do kick some ass

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 12:21:22 PM
Title: Hello from  Story, Wyoming
Name: Scot Shields
Message: My friend Gary Teed told me about you. Is there an address where you receive mail?
 I will think positive thoughts about your health. We live the outdoor, iron pumping lifestyle, as many Michigan natives do.  You seem like one of those, and we need more of those kind of men in this country.
 Thanks for being a coach,

Scot Shields

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 10:44:46 AM
Title: Mr.Herp
Name: Sue Zmich Osminski
Message: Wow, when I read about the web site on facebook my first thought was Drivers Ed.  That was my first real contact with you and Mr. Holdship...  You 2 were very intimidating.. And when we actually had to get behind the wheel to drive, you really scared the hell out of me.  Then I had the pleasure to cheer from the sidelines the 1973 season and you and the team smoked everyone we played. That was the first year for the Health Careers program and I went to the Harbor Beach class..  Three of my classmates there were Dick Clark, Bob Eick, and Dave Muelfeld(they played for Harbor Beach).  We had great fun picking on each other about who was going to win the whole season...and we know how Ubly's season turned out...

Now flash forward:  The next time I meet you I am engaged to Gary and I find out that your are married to Elrea, Gary's cousin..  It really took a long time to call you Jerry and not Mr. Herp..  We have always had fun with all the family get togethers.  

Next we fast forward to: Last game of the season in 2000 in Ubly.  Sadly for you Bad Axe smoked you (Mr. Hamilton was not a friendly coach to your team).  I was so proud of our David when I found out that he had went up to you to shake you hand and say Hi.  He knew that there was no reason for our team to have played the way they did and he wanted you to know that from a Bad Axe player.

So, now it is a personal battle that you fight and we all know that you will give it the best shot you have.. You have always put forth your best and expected the best form those around you. Now is our turn to help boost you up. Keep your chin up, look straight ahead and you will once again WIN another fight....

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 9:46:35 AM
Title: Coach
Name: Dave Rowland
Message: I remember back in the summer of 1985 when Bad Axe was going through another coaching change.  Being a senior at Bad Axe, I told my dad that I wanted to transfer and go to Ubly to play for coach Herp (like that was ever going to happen).  Even then, as a 17 year old kid, I loved watching you coach, respected how you coached at Ubly, and wanted to be part of the great tradition you established.  Only in 1998, when I did my student-teaching at Ubly, was I able to accomplish my goal of being a part of your team but only as a coach (I still would have loved to play for you). As a coach, I remember some of your half-time speeches and they rank only as "classics.":)

I want you to know that even though I coach at Bad Axe, there is a lot of Ubly in me and I have only you to thank. I will never forget the phone call you gave me after our overtime win against Cass City in 2007.  Again, you proved what a class act you are and how lucky Ubly was to have you as a coach.

Stay strong Coach.  If anyone has the intestinal fortitude to fight it's you.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 7:24:40 AM
Title: coach
Name: Gary Teed
Message: so many people come into contact with your life so few leave hardly a foot print.  I want to thank you for jumping up and down on mine.  Look forward to seeing you soon.  My coach of the 500 hundred.  love ya need anything just yell.  

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 8:12:48 PM
Title: Get well Coach
Name: Rick Glaza
Message: I was a manager under Coach Herp for a few seasons back in the late 80's.....always had a lot of fun and thats where I first got to know him. He often referred to me as "Ricker". In fact he had a nickname for just about everyone.
You never had to look hard to find Coach after he retired from coaching.....all you had to do was look in either endzone and you would find him leaning against the goalpost watching the game.
It's always fun talking football and we look forward to seeing you around again.

Get well soon!!!!!

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 6:15:48 PM
Name: Daughter #2
Message: Dad,
I really hope you like this website. Look what I found when I googled Coach Herp!

Tuesday, December 5, 2000
Mr. BARCIA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in this chamber today to honor Gerry Herp on the occasion of his retirement. At the end of the season, Gerry Herp will retire as Head Football Coach of Ubly Community High School in Ubly, Michigan. He is truly one of the greatest contributors to Michigan athletics in the past fifty years and he will be sorely missed.
In a career beginning in 1963 and spanning
five decades, this legend of the gridiron consistently pushed his team to excellence both on and off the football field. On the field, Coach Herp led the Ubly Bearcats to an impressive lifetime record of 140 wins, 106 losses and two ties. Under his tutelage, the Bearcats have won nine league championships and garnered two play-off appearances since 1983, a record of success which earned him regional Coach of the Year honors on two occasions. But beyond the yardage gained, the points scored and the championships won, the true
and lasting impact of Coach Herp’s commitment to his team and the young people of his community can be measured by the impact he had on the hearts and minds of those he coached. During his career, Gerry not only coached football, baseball and women’s softball, he also volunteered much of his time to helping disadvantaged youth involved in the Babe Ruth program, endeavors which endeared him to his community and earned him Ubly’s 1999 Friend of Youth honors. Of course, his many successes could not have been accomplished without the loving support of his wife. Elrae, and their four daughters, Amy, Betsy, Rachel and Jeralyn and stepdaughter, Lori Flippin. When Gerry Herp officially steps down as Head Football Coach of Ubly Community High School at the end of this season, he deserves a place of honor among those who strive to ensure the physical health and mental wellbeing of our youth through athletic programs. On this day, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating Gerry on his many victories and wish him well as he cheers on the Bearcats from the stands.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 6:05:34 PM
Tuesday, December 5, 2000
Mr. BARCIA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in this
chamber today to honor Gerry Herp on the occasion of his retirement. At the end of the season, Gerry Herp will retire as Head Football Coach of Ubly Community High School in Ubly, Michigan. He is truly one of the greatest contributors to Michigan athletics in the past fifty years and he will be sorely missed.
In a career beginning in 1963 and spanning
five decades, this legend of the gridiron consistently pushed his team to excellence both on and off the football field. On the field, Coach Herp led the Ubly Bearcats to an impressive lifetime record of 140 wins, 106 losses and two ties. Under his tutelage, the Bearcats have won nine league championships and garnered two play-off appearances since 1983, a record of success which earned him regional Coach of the Year honors on two occasions.
But beyond the yardage gained, the points
scored and the championships won, the true
and lasting impact of Coach Herp’s commitment to his team and the young people of his community can be measured by the impact he had on the hearts and minds of those he coached. During his career, Gerry not only coached football, baseball and women’s softball, he also volunteered much of his time to helping disadvantaged youth involved in the Babe Ruth program, endeavors which endeared him to his community and earned him Ubly’s 1999 Friend of Youth honors.
Of course, his many successes could not
have been accomplished without the loving
support of his wife. Elrae, and their four
daughters, Amy, Betsy, Rachel and Jeralyn
and stepdaughter, Lori Flippin.
When Gerry Herp officially steps down as
Head Football Coach of Ubly Community High
School at the end of this season, he deserves a place of honor among those who strive to ensure the physical health and mental wellbeing of our youth through athletic programs.
On this day, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating Gerry on his many victories and wish him well as he cheers on the Bearcats from the stands.