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Bob DeKeyser, Niagara/Lena High Schools & St. Norbert College

04/01/2023, 12:00pm CDT

Robert (Deke)De Keyser was born January 1, 1952, in Green Bay, to Len and Vada De Keyser.  He graduated from Green Bay East High School, (1970) and started on the 8-0 Co-Championship team that was ranked second in the media polls. His father played at East in the mid-thirties during their thirty-some game win streak and brother Jim played on the undefeated 1965 Co- champion team.  His son Brian one upped the three by playing on several championship teams and one state champion team at Ashwaubenon. 

At UW-Platteville his playing career ended holding nearly every kicking record.  Graduate work in educational counseling followed, he became a grad assistant and was placed in Admissions.   During this time Deke met and married Darcy Ostrander. Their three children become great adults, Nicole, Jessica and Brian.  They gave them five precious grandchildren Dylan, Kailyn, Owen, Lauren and Dexter.

Stops at Niagara and Lena were full of developing counseling programs, coaching and Darcy starting her professional career. He was elected to the WFCA Board of Directors where he first met Randy Marsh.  Being a school counselor, head coach and father had its time constraints. He joined the staff at Oconto High School under Head Coach, Pete Gabrielson, as an assistant.  A championship was won in year two. Next was New London High School and Randy Marsh, a major influence on Deke’s life. They managed to get into the payoffs numerous times and advance in the tough Bay Conference.

In 1999 St. Norbert College hired a new head coach, Jim Purtill, later followed by Dan McCarty. After twenty-three years, 13 conference championships and an overall record of 188-54, here we are.   Deke has been Special Teams Coordinator the entire time and coached QBs, LBs and DBs. He had the privilege of working with NCAA All-American, first team kickers (3), returners and special teams’ players and many second, third and honorable mention players.  

He feels grateful to have come under the influence of HOF coaches, Dr. Al Mancheski, Al Reed and Gene Bray at Green Bay East, Gil Krueger and John Barth at UW-P, Randy Marsh at NLHS, and Jim Purtill, Ken Golomski and Pete Baganz at SNC. Former co-assistants are in the NFL, Big ten, and other major college programs.  

It’s all about the players and fellow coaches.  We laughed, cried and celebrated together.  You have made the 48-year ride indescribably awesome.  You are cherished

Tag(s): Hall of Fame