Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 17, 2018

Local sportsman Mark Kool dies

By Justin Webster, Ledger sports editor | Jan 24, 2018
Photo by: PHOTO SUBMITTED The Kool family members are, from left, Mark and his sons Dane, Dirk and Cody in a photo taken in February of 2004.

The bold succeed wheresoever they go. - Magnus Barefoot


Fairfield sports staple Mark Kool passed away Friday in Omaha at the age of 59 with his three sons by his side.

After graduating from Huron High in South Dakota, Kool followed in his father’s footsteps to South Dakota State where he was later named captain as a senior, an honor both his father and his son Dirk had earned as well.

Kool coached at South Dakota State before leading Spearfish High to its first state championship, earning him the South Dakota High School Coaches Association 1997 Football Coach of the Year award.

In 2000, Mark moved to Fairfield where he was able to share his love for sports with his sons and the Trojan nation. Kool coached his three sons Dane, Cody and Dirk at Fairfield.

“It was always about sports with us, and it was because of my mom and him,” said his son Dirk. He added, “He loved to golf and hunt and fish.”

As for his fandom, Kool followed both South Dakota State and the University of Iowa and also rooted for his beloved Vikings.

Brian Dunlap worked with Kool at the elementary school where Mark was a P.E. teacher and also coached with him on both the football and track teams at Fairfield High School.

“Elementary kids loved him and high school kids loved playing for him,” said Dunlap. “He was an outstanding coach for the district. He was easy to get along with and he didn’t ruffle feathers, but he would speak up when needed. I really enjoyed working with Mark.”

Former Trojan head football coach Mike Schenk also had high praise for his former assistant.

“Mark was a good coach who was very knowledgeable. He brought a wealth of experience to Fairfield from his previous stops at the high school and college level.” Schenk added that he was pleased and blessed to have Kool on his staff.

Mark Kool’s full obituary is on page 4.

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