Legendary City High track and field coach John Raffensperger dies at age 79

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - John Raffensperger, a long-time educator and track and field coach in Iowa City, passed away on Monday morning at his home in Iowa City from complications in a long battle with cancer. He was 79 years old.

John Raffensperger, legendary track and field coach, passed away at age 79 on Monday, April 22, 2019 (KCRG File)

Raffensperger, or more affectionately known as Raff, was the head track and field coach at Iowa City High School for 34 years, becoming the first coach to achieve 10 state titles. His teams won every year between 1992 and 2002, except 1998.

He was elected to the Iowa Track Hall of Fame in 1997, and the track at City High was named after him in 2000. He retired as head coach in 2003.


Raffensperger returned to coaching in 2007 as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Iowa, with his former team member and current head coach Joey Woody. He served in that role through this season.

Visitation is scheduled for Sunday at Iowa City High School at a time to be determined. Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City.