Leonard Bond, Omaha
Football and track coach at Omaha North from 1948-1975, assistant athletic director there until retirement in 1985. Record for 37 years: 114-26. Several all-conference and all-state players. Some of his best teams were in the 60's, particularly the unbeaten 1961 team that had a heralded backfield known as the Four Norsemen. (Three were starters at Big Eight schools).
BOND - Leonard L., age 81. Longtime teacher and coach at North High School for 37 years. Survived by wife, Bette; sons and daughters-in-law, James and Dee Bond, Tom Bond, Tim and Nancy Bond, Rich Bond, Mike and Janet Bond; daughter, Nancy Bond; 14 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. MEMORIAL SERVICE Mon. 2 pm, Roeder Mortuary, 108th St. Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Leonard Bond Scholarship Fund, c/o North High School. 8/27/04
Longtime North coach had players' respect
BY MIKE PATTERSON WORLD HERALD STAFF WRITER, 8/27/04
When Leonard Bond wanted to get his team's attention, it didn't take much. Simply straightening his tie was usually enough.
That's how much respect his players had for the longtime coach, who died Thursday of cancer at age 81. Bond taught at North for 27 years and was the Vikings' head football coach for 16.
"Leonard was a great man," said Jerry Murtaugh. "He and his two assistants really taught me everything about life."
Murtaugh played for Bond and went on star at Nebraska. He still holds the Huskers' career record for tackles with 342.
"Coach Bond taught me the importance of going to class, and the importance of staying out of trouble," Murtaugh said. "He was all about hard work and determination, and I never would have made it to college without him."
Murtaugh added that all of Bond's players knew when it was time to quiet down in the locker room.
"When he straightened that tie and cleared his throat, that was enough," he said. "We knew we'd better listen to what he had to say."
Bond, who was inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 1998, had plenty to say in his years at Omaha North. Shortly after arriving there, he coached four sports - football, basketball, baseball and track.
"He got paid $50 per sport," said his son, Mike. "Coaching was something he really enjoyed."
He coached the Vikings' freshman and junior varsity football teams for 11 years before guiding the varsity from 1959 to 1974. His teams won or shared Metro Conference American Division titles four times and went undefeated twice.
Bond coached North's famed Four Norsemen - Bob Churchich, Rick Davis, Danny Miller and Rookie Taylor. Those four, who played together in 1962, made up what's still considered to be one of the best high school backfields in the state.
Bond's son, Tim, was a Metro Conference head football coach for 25 years. He stepped down last season after 20 years at Omaha Bryan and is now an assistant at Millard South.
In addition to raising six children, Bond and his wife, Bette, also cared for foster children for several years.
"He instilled in all of us a sense of right and wrong," said Mike Bond. "It's something that was always very important to him."
Services for Bond are at 2 p.m. Monday at Roeder Mortuary, 2727 N. 108th St. Survivors include Bette; sons and daughters-in-law James and Dee Bond, Tom Bond, Tim and Nancy Bond, Rich Bond, Mike and Janet Bond; daughter Nancy Bond; 14 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.