Athlete. Robert attended Omaha Holy Name from 1946 through 1950 excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. At 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds, he was renowned for his athleticism and fierce competitiveness. His successes contributed to Holy Name being recognized as a small-school powerhouse. Bob was varsity starter all four years in football and basketball. As a running back in football, he made the Class B all-State team in 1947, 1948, and 1949, World-Herald star of the week twice in each of those three years and and Omaha Junior Chamber of Commerce outstanding athlete of the year in 1948 and 1949. He led all scorers in the Omaha area from 1947 to 1949 and was the leading scorer for Nebraska in Class B in 1947 and 1948. In basketball he was on teams that were twice state champions and was consensus Class B all-state in 1948 and 1948 plus being selected World-Herald star of the week five times from 1947 to 1950. Holy Name started baseball in 1949 but had to compete against a predominately Class A schedule and managed winning seasons with Bob at shortstop. He really shined in Legion baseball where he made all-city shortstop and hit .429 his last season. He was then picked up by the Cincinnati Reds and assigned to the Audubon (Iowa) Cardinals. Given a full ride to UN-L for football, he lettered his sophomore year as a defensive back and punt returner doing well enough to be given honorable mention in The Associated Press All-Big Seven selections. In baseball he made All-Big Seven and All-District 5 teams playing third base. He left Nebraska after two years and enrolled at Santa Clara, which dropped football the following year. He then transferred to Tulsa where he led the football team in total offense and rushing and was selected All-Missouri Valley at quarterback, a position he rarely played.
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