Jerry Wampfler
Jerry Wampfler

Obituary of Jerry G. Wampfler

Jerry Wampfler, Super Bowl & NCAA National Champion Football Coach, family man, hometown hero, Mr. Fixit, and dog lover, died on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

For 40 years Jerry helped to build the legacy of Hall of Fame football coaches Bo Schembeckler, Ara Parseghian and the undefeated 1966 National Champion Notre Dame team, and Dick Vermeil and the 1980 Super Bowl Philadelphia Eagles.  Said Vermeil “... he was a great man and an equal coach, the best O-Line coach I ever worked with!”   Jerry also developed numerous All-Pro lineman and coached the O-line that opened holes for Hall of Famer Barry Sanders.


In Jerry’s own words: “Carol and I were born and raised in New Philadelphia, Ohio during the Great Depression.  Neither of our families had a lot of money.  We learned to work hard for everything we wanted, pursuing coaching jobs across the country, resulting in many family moves.  But regardless of where we were living, most every Christmas we traveled to New Philly, because this was always home.  When we retired, we once again returned home, living within walking distance to the football stadium.”  They also took to traveling with their good friends, driving their RVs to California, Alaska, and Nova Scotia. 


Jerry grew up as a childhood farmhand working long hours. He met his wife, Carol, in their 7th grade homeroom.  The teacher in that classroom was Bill Kidd, the high school football coach.  Jerry credits Bill Kidd with keeping him in school, on the football team, and setting him up for success for his lifelong journey.


Jerry and Carol raised their 3 kids; Nan, Jody, and Tad as they criss-crossed the country for Jerry’s jobs in Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, Philadelphia, Buffalo, New York, Green Bay, San Diego, and finally Detroit.  The family enjoyed many vacations camping together which included waterskiing, campfires, and playing cards in their pop-up camper. Jerry was often seen with his trusty Portuguese Water Dog, "Boomer" at the helm of his jet ski.


When Jerry retired from football he and Carol designed and built a beautiful home on Lake Gaston, NC. They spent their days gardening and boating. Later on they moved to the warm weather of Florida, but their hometown remained top of mind, leading them to “... create a Grit Award and Scholarship for a lineman on the New Philadelphia High School football team who, regardless of their level of playing ability on the field or grades in the classroom, is a role model of perseverance and strong moral character.”  Jerry always respected and pulled for the hardest working people, regardless of their talent or education level.

Although Jerry worked long hours and often slept in the office, he did not rest at home.  He enjoyed playing bridge, crazy 8s, fixing cars, furniture, boats, bathrooms, and playing racquetball.  He excelled at landscaping, not spending $1 more than he had to, financial planning, quality control checks on home contractors, and rehabbing his back.  During the Christmas holidays he loved playing endless crazy poker games with members of Carol’s family.


He had a life-long love affair with “Made in Ohio” trail bologna & swiss cheese, creamed cucumbers, beer soaked cornmeal fried fish, root beer barrels, and all you can eat buffets. His musical taste was questionable with favorites being Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball and Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, along with many country hits.

Jerry leaves behind his wife of 69 years, Carol, as well as their children Nan (David) Sabulsky, Jody (Mark) Johnson, Tad (Nicole) Wampfler as well as grandchildren Dylan, Taylor-Paige, Graeme, Charlie, and Jake… and their great grand kids, Juliette and Milo!


Jerry / Dad, thank you for your love and sharing your life with us. How lucky we are that saying goodbye is so hard.


A tribute donation to New Philadelphia High School’s Quaker Club “GRIT Scholarship”, offers you a thoughtful way to celebrate Jerry Wampfler’s life.  The Wampfler’s funded this scholarship to help deserving student athletes (based on effort and character vs. athletic prowess) afford continued education.   Access the GoFundMe page at “ The organization is a 501C3 and donations are tax deductible.  Thank you.



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