Former Gothenburg teacher and coach Jerry “Pat” Novacek passed away at the age of 81 in Hastings on Sunday. Novacek spent many years as a coach and teacher in South Dakota and Iowa before spending 23 years in the Gothenburg school system. He was the head football coach of the Swedes from 1981-1992. Novacek guided the Swedes to the playoffs four times including a Class B State Runner Up finish in 1984. Novacek also served as one of the head coaches of the 1992 Shrine Bowl and Western Nebraska All Star Game.
The Novacek Family received the “Fischer Family” Award from the Nebraska State High School Hall Of Fame in 2017. Pat was a three sport letter winner and 1955 graduate of Tekamah High School. His son’s Jim, Jay and Bump all went on to become exceptional athletes and pole vaulters for Gothenburg.
Services are 10:30 a.m. Thursday, January 24, at North Shore Assembly of God in Hastings. Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery in Hastings. Memorials may be given to Jerry “Pat” Novacek Memorial Fund for strength and conditioning equipment at Gothenburg High School c/o Gothenburg State Bank, 900 Lake Avenue, Gothenburg, NE 69138. Visitation is 6-8 p.m on Wednesday at the Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Hastings.