Legendary Coach And Vietnam Vet Stands Tall

By Jeff Bro Olsen

Jerry “JC” Cleveland, who volunteered for the draft to honor a hometown Staples pal who was killed in Vietnam and later fought there himself as an infantryman and earned a Purple Heart, has done his share of fighting outside of at least one Bemidji establishment.

Additionally, he served as the dean of students at Cass Lake High School, where his car was stolen by two students who put some sizable dents in it before abandoning it.

Near daybreak, the two lads ran as fast as they could to surrender to the nearest cop once they spotted Mr. Cleveland approaching them after they came out of a swamp.

At 70, he has a great laugh, even better stories, and takes everything in stride.

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