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Jeff Gordon named Liberty varsity football coach

Jeff Gordon motivates the Bolts during a 2017 sophomore game played at Iowa City West High. Gordon, who founded Liberty’s football program in 2016 with a freshman squad, was hired as the school’s first varsity football head coach. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

NORTH LIBERTY– Jeff Gordon, Liberty High School’s first freshman football coach and first sophomore coach, was named the school’s first head varsity football coach.
Liberty High Athletic Director Mike Morrison announced Gordon’s hiring Sunday, Jan. 28.
Gordon, who teaches social studies at Liberty, was hired in 2016 to build Liberty’s football program from the ground up while the school was still under construction. Gordon’s freshmen, students from Iowa City West High, were the first to wear Liberty jerseys on the gridiron and, while the school is the home of the Lightning, adopted the nickname the Bolts. More specifically, they proudly referred to themselves as the Original or O-Bolts. Gordon stayed with the members of the squad, now students at Liberty, for their sophomore season in 2017. The team finished at 6-3, playing anybody looking to fill a hole in their schedule, as Liberty was unaffiliated with any athletic conference and playing non-varsity. Following the conclusion of Liberty’s season-ending 50-7 win over West Delaware at Iowa City City High, Gordon said, “We’re just trying to develop leadership and that they got to get better every day, there’s no day to take a day off. I’m proud of what they’re building, and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do tomorrow.”
He added, “I love every single one of them, and for coaching them for two years, I can’t imagine what the next two years are going to be like, because it’s been awfully special. They’re doing something special, I’m glad to be a part of it.”
According to Morrison, Gordon has 12 years of coaching experience ranging from collegiate to high school assistant coaching positions. He coached the offensive line and tight ends and served as a graduate assistant coach for San Jose State University (where he was a starting left tackle after graduation from Iowa City West High’s state championship team) to working as an offensive and defensive line coach at City High before overseeing Cedar Rapids Prairie’s offensive line for two seasons.
“He has a tremendous work ethic and an outstanding rapport with all of the students in our building,” Morrison said. “He has an incredible level of passion for kids, football and our community.”
Morrison added the search will begin immediately for hiring at least four assistant coaches, including an offensive coordinator.
“There is a lot of work for us to do. Jeff has the work ethic to take on that challenge,” Morrison said, noting the area is rich in football tradition with three amazing high school football programs in Iowa City. “Our goal is to achieve at a level high enough to be in that same category.”
The Bolts will play in Class 3A District 5 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons against Clear Creek Amana, Clinton, Davenport Assumption Catholic, Central Clinton-DeWitt and North Scott. It is anticipated the Lightning will move to Class 4A in 2020.
Recently, Morrison announced three coaches for the spring sports, which begin practice in a few weeks.
Bruce Davis was hired to be the men’s track coach, Keaton Rickles will lead the women’s program, and Ben Watson will head up men’s soccer.