Norman (Bud) Bergman, graduated from high school at Grundy Center in 1954.
After graduation, in 1955, he went to Iowa State University on a basketball scholarship. He always had his sights set on being a teacher, and more specifically, a coach.
While attending college, Bud played college basketball for Iowa State. While formulating his feature, Bud told me of what could be considered a “gold star” event, when Iowa State played against Kansas University in 1958. Bud found himself playing against their star player, Wilt Chamberlain. The proof is in the books, Iowa State beat Kansas University that day, with a score of 48 to 42.
As it turned out, Bud was the leading scorer that game after scoring 14 points. To say your team played against Wilt Chamberlain’s team and won, is worthy of mention, to say the least.
After four years, Bud achieved his BA degree in 1959.
His first teaching job was in Estherville, Iowa, teaching junior high social studies as well as coaching at Estherville Junior college from 1959 to 1966. During those years, he was the head coach for basketball and baseball. Additionally, he was the assistant football coach as well.
Coaching and teaching wasn’t all Bud was doing in Estherville however. It was there he met his future wife Sandy, who had just begun teaching shorthand and typing at Estherville High School. Bud and Sandy were married in 1966.
Later that year, Bud accepted a job at W-SR as the head basketball coach and driver’s ed teacher.
“The move was an easy decision for Sandy and I,” Bud said. “I had always considered the W-SR school system to be the best school in Iowa for all around school activities. As it turned out, Sandy loved her job at the Wartburg College book store as a bonus.”
Bud and Sandy had a plan for him to teach for four years and during the summer months he would earn his M.A. from U.N.I. that he was able to accomplish in 1970.
As the author of this feature, I can say with certainty, Bud was the man! As a driver’s ed teacher, I knew I had to knuckle down in his class. He had the “paper car keys”, so to speak. You had to pass his class to get your driver’s license at 16-years-old.
Admittedly, that was about the only class I took seriously and I did pass in 1973. I remember Bud saying that driver’s ed class may very well be the most important class we’d take in high school. He was referring to the fact that tragedies happen so often on the highways and he didn’t want to hear of any that involved any of his students.
In addition to teaching and coaching, in 1978 Bud started the first F.C.A., or Fellowship Christian Athletes, at W-SR. He explained that Dave Arns, the Hall of Fame football coach, was the first president of the F.C.A. as a senior in high school.
“We had a fairly good record in our basketball games,” Bud said. “In the 26 years I was a basketball coach, we won the N.E. Iowa Conference title for each of 17 years. I credit the late Jim Denner as my assistant coach for 25 of those 26 years. The truth is, W-SR had a lot of good coaches down through the years.”
Bud and his basketball teams have always enjoyed the support from the community.
“I remember taking 19 pep busses to a sub-state game in Mason City,” Bud added. “That in itself is over 650 cheering students. That doesn’t even count the ones who drove themselves. We took 17 pep busses to state tournaments. I should add, W-SR won three sportsmanship awards at various state tournaments. We really drew off of the support from our community.”
Bud and Sandy had two boys, who both graduated from W-SR. David in 1987 and Mike in 1989.
In 1992, Bud, retired from coaching and by ‘97 he was completely retired, after a total of 38 years teaching.
“I taught 7 years in Estherville before coming to Waverly. I really felt fortunate for the opportunity to have taught and coached in Waverly for 31 years. For that, Sandy and I have I’ve always felt blessed,” Bud said.
Sadly, in 2020, Sandy passed away from cancer, and I can see it plain, she left an empty space that can’t be filled.