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Rodney Arthur

August 2, 1928 – October 23, 2018

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Rodney Rust
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Adams-Perfect Funeral Homes

Obituary for Rodney Arthur Rust

Rodney Arthur Rust, of Ocean City, a renowned football coach in the professional and college ranks, passed away at home with his family after a brief illness on October 23. Rod was 90 years old.

Rod had a passion for football and education and combined the two, playing center for the Iowa State Cyclones from 1947 to 1949. Rod followed in the footsteps of his father, coaching high school football in Iowa. Rod’s first coaching break came in 1960 when he took an assistant position at the University of New Mexico. Rod then moved on to Stanford in 1963. In 1966, Rod earned his first Head Coach position at North Texas State. In 1972, Rod moved to Montreal for his first professional coaching job as the defensive coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes. Rod’s first NFL work came when he was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as a Linebackers Coach in 1976. From there, he became the Defensive Coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1978. In 1983, Rod was named the Defensive Coordinator of the New England Patriots. Rod spent 1988 and 1989 as Defensive Coordinator of the Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers respectively, before returning to New England as their Head Coach in 1990. Rod coached with the NY Giants in 1992, the Lehigh Engineers in 1994, the Atlanta Falcons in 1995 and 1996, the Alouettes again in 1997 and 1998, the San Francisco Forty-Niners in 1999, the Alouettes for a third time in 2001, the Giants from 2002 – 2004 and finally the Winnipeg Blue Bonnets in 2005.

In all, Rod coached high-school teams for eight years, college teams for fourteen, NFL teams for twenty-two years and CFL teams for seven. By the time Rod retired from coaching at age 77, he had coached football for over half a century.

While Rod was widely considered a genius for his defensive strategies and innovative approach to defensive schemes, many of which are used to this day, his achievements off the field were equally impressive. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree, Rod went on to receive his Master’s Degree while working construction full-time. Rod served his country in the US Army for two years during Korea. Rod was a loyal friend and proud father, devoted husband and remarkable son.

All who knew Rod gratefully recall his insight, compassion, appropriate application of philosophy or practice, dry sense of humor, rigorous and thoughtful dedication, and understated accomplishment. The very traits that made him a great coach, in fact made him a better man.

Rod is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years, Jean; his son Jeff and Jeff’s wife Trudy; Rod’s step-daughters Christine Mahoney (Chris) and Amy Burns; grandchildren; and his brother, Dr. Richard Rust. Rod’s first wife, Maryanne, and son Greg, preceded Rod in death.

A viewing will be held on Sunday, October 28th from 2pm until 5pm at Adams-Perfect Funeral Home, 1650 New Road, Northfield. A private burial will be held in Seaside Cemetery, Marmora.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Grace Community Church,132 N. Sugar Road, Pharr, Texas 78577.

Service Information

Pastor Peter Jamieson
Adams-Perfect Funeral Home
1650 New Road
Northfield, NJ 08225
Service Extra Info
Family private

Interment Information

Seaside Cemetery
Thomas Drive
Palermo, NJ 08223
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