TOLEDO, Ohio — Frank Lauterbur, who coached Toledo to two undefeated seasons in football, before leaving to take over at Iowa for three seasons in the early 1970s, has died. He was 88.

Toledo athletic department spokesman Paul Helgren says Lauterbur died at a Toledo-area nursing home. A cause of death wasn't released.

The Rockets won 23 consecutive games from 1969-70 under Lauterbur. He also served as athletic director at Toledo where he had a career record of 48-32-2.

He coached eight seasons at Toledo before going to Iowa where he coached from 1971-73.

The Hawkeyes were 4-28-1 before Lauterbur was let go. Iowa finished 0-11 in his final season.

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Obviously, he was before my time (Mom was pregnant with me in 1971, his first year, and was not even 2 when Iowa had its infamously bad 1973 season), but it sounds like he was a decent person. Ron Maly, a sports reporter for the Des Moines Register, once wrote about how, on the day he was fired, at a press conference where his dismissal was announced that "… Lauterbur held an umbrella over my head so he could protect the notepad I was using from the rain that was falling near the stadium."

Nice guy, successful in his element at Toledo, even went on to a successful NFL assistant coaching stint. Just too bad he couldn't make it work at Iowa. I guess putting things in perspective, without ever having seen video of a game from this era, success wasn't meant to be for Coach Lauterbur.

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