Peru, Neb. – On Saturday, August 26, Peru State recognized an outstanding individual who has significantly impacted the College through his leadership and generous support.
Peru State President Dan Hanson declared August 26 as Jerry Joy Day at the Oak Bowl to honor Joy. The Bobcats played Avila (Mo.) on the day and gave the entire crowd a season-opening win.
Joy has played many roles at Peru State College: student, coach, athletic director, and dean. For decades, he has been an unwavering advocate for Peru State College and for southeast Nebraska. Joy was joined on the field at halftime with his wife Christina and many members of the Joy family.
A native of Shubert, Nebraska, Joy was a 1964 graduate of Peru State College. He returned to campus to serve as head football coach and athletic director from 1975-1982.
Joy posted a 40-36-2 mark in eight seasons with the Bobcats and took the 1979 team to Peru’s first post season game in 25 years. His 1980 squad finished in the Top 10 of the NAIA. In 1982, Joy became Dean of Student Services at Peru State, a role he held until 1990.
In 1999, Joy was inducted into the Peru State College Athletic Hall of Fame and into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievement as the Bobcat head football coach. Joy was named the Nebraska State College Coach of the Year in 1980. In 2002, Joy was inducted a second time into the Peru State College Athletic Hall of Fame as the coach of the 1980 football team.
Joy is also recognized in the Friends University Hall of Fame and the Doane College Sports Hall of Fame and has received many other accolades and awards throughout his coaching career.
Presently, Joy continues his career in higher education as Assistant to the CEO of National American University.
President Dan Hanson stated, “Ever since I’ve known Jerry, I have known these things: he believes in students and in the value of education, and he believes in Peru State College. Today is a day to celebrate Jerry’s tremendous impact and to encourage people to pitch in to name the new football locker room the Jerry Joy Home Locker Room.”
Jerry’s family and friends have joined forces with the Peru State College Foundation to seek $100,000 in contributions to the Oak Bowl Fieldhouse to name the new locker facility the Jerry Joy Home Locker Room. More than $65,000 has already been contributed.
During the halftime presentation, President Dan Hanson and First Lady Elaine Hanson presented Joy with a caricature by alumnus and cartoonist, Paul Fell, and with a commemorative Oak Bowl coin along with a plaque honoring this day as Jerry Joy Day at the Oak Bowl.
Jerry Joy Day at the Oak Bowl celebrated his decades of involvement and this special naming initiative. It was announced during the game that giving to the Jerry Joy Home Locker Room Initiative through the Peru State College Foundation’s mobile giving initiative was available by texting the word Give to (402) 317-5262. If an individual or business would like to contribute to the fund, contact the Foundation at 402-872-2304.