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Former Panther star Hertz dies

Published: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 12:16 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 12:19 p.m. CST
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Tom Hertz

One of Creston’s most accomplished athletes died recently.

Tom Hertz, former All-American football player at the University of Missouri, died Dec. 18 at his home in Culpeper, Va. He was 72.

Hertz is a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Football Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Creston High School Hall of Fame in 2007.

Hertz was born Aug. 5, 1941, in Wisner, Neb., to the late Gene and Eloise DodderHertz. Gene Hertz served as superintendent of schools in Creston. Hertz was raised in Creston and played football at the University of Missouri where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English.

Hertz, retired from a business career at Mobil Oil Co., coached football at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Va., from 1997-2010 and with that earned many championships and titles.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Lynn Hertz; two children, Sarah Mahoney and herhusband, Sean of Culpeper and Michael Hertz and his wife, Natalia of Matthews, N.C.; and four grandchildren, Jack and Sam Mahoney and Jason and Anna Hertz.

A memorial service was held on Jan. 11 at Found and Sons Funeral Chapel in Culpeper. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Hospice of the Rapidan, PO Box 1715, Culpeper, VA 22701.

CHS career

An all-around athlete at Creston High School, Hertz won 14 varsity letters in four sports. The 1959 graduate was the catcher and top hitter on a state runner-up baseball team, started in basketball and placed in three throwing events at the state meet.

It was in football where Hertz really excelled for coach Rollin Dyer, who also coached the Panther baseball and track teams.

In consecutive seasons Hertz rushed for more than 1,100 yards, passed for more than 500 yards and averaged 36 yards per punt. As a linebacker he led the team in tackles, including a school-record 25 solo stops in one game. He was named all-state in 1958.

Hertz, a member of the CHS National Honor Society, was inducted into the IHSAA Hall of Fame in 2002.

Collegiate honors

Although he was a quarterback and fullback at Creston, Hertz went on to an illustrious career as a guard at the University of Missouri, helping coach Dan Devine’s Tigers to two bowl appearances. He played against Navy and Georgia Tech in bowl games.

Hertz was an all-conference selection twice for the Tigers, earned All-Amerian honors at guard as a senior and was selected for three postseason all-star games.

That same season, he was named an Academic All-American, graduating with a 3.6 GPA. He served two years as a graduate football assistant while earning his master’s at Missouri.

A 32-year career with Mobil Oil Co. followed. Upon his retirement from Mobil in 1995 as U.S. retail training director, Hertz became offensive line coach for Robinson High School, a two-time state champion in Fairfax, Va., where he coached his son, Michael.

In 2001 Hertz was inducted into the Fairfax County Youth Football League Hall of Fame for his many contributions while his son was growing up there.

“I was surprised, and delighted, to hear that I had been selected to the Creston High School Hall of Fame,” Hertz said in 2007.

Hertz was unable to attend the induction ceremonies at CHS because of his duties as a high school coach that weekend in Virginia.

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