Alumni Highlight - Jerry Strom

Jerry Strom

Courtesy: Jason Garber

Career Path 

Jerry Strom, currently the director of basketball operations for the University of Iowa, has been involved with the program for 30 years. Strom joined the Iowa staff in 1981, and worked under coach Lute Olson. 

Strom’s responsibilities as a member of the Iowa basketball staff includes coordinating and carrying out the day-to-day activities for the program. As tournament director for the Iowa Hawkeye’s Challenge for 26 years, Strom also provides the leadership for implementing this annual event.

One of Strom’s first initiatives as coach at Iowa was to establish the school's first Iowa Basketball Coaches Clinic. In addition to this, he was responsible for bringing in and directing the 1988 national 19-and-under A.A.U. Tournament, which continues to be held annually in Iowa City. He has been a member of six different basketball staffs that have competed in 23 NCAA and NIT tournaments. 

Prior to coaching at Iowa, Strom served as the athletic director and head basketball coach at Martin Luther King High School in New York City for four years.  After New York, Strom found himself back in the area working as the assistant to the athletic director at Monmouth College. While employed at Monmouth he also was the assistant basketball and baseball coach from 1979-1981.

Strom graduated from Fontanelle High School (Iowa), where he earned all-state honors in basketball, football and baseball, as well as being selected to Iowa Boys State. He attended Concordia College (Nebraska), where he played basketball, baseball and golf.  

After Concordia, Strom attended Western Illinois University and graduated in 1980 with his master’s degree in sport management.

Career Advice

Strom made several points about factors that have contributed to the success he has had in his career. He believes that demonstrating dedication and working hard are essential when beginning a career. Also, an individual must be willing to volunteer in order to gain practical experience and build on the theory learned in the classroom.

In addition, Strom emphasized the importance of networking with individuals one interacts with on a day to-day basis. His networking has lead him to many career opportunities. A network is a great way to get “your foot in the door”, and exchange career advice as one pursues different employment opportunities. An individual must be receptive to meet and establish a connection with as many professionals as possible in anticipation that this will lead to an advancement in his or her own career.