Punahou’s 1932 OAHUAN stated, “Horse derived his nickname by being exactly that as Punahou’s half miler and as an end on the football team”. It was this trait of dependability and drive that earned him the Gordon Brown Trophy in his senior year for giving the greatest inspiration to the members of the track squad. Winning three letters, one in football and two in track, Bob capped his Punahou track career in his senior year by placing second in a fast 880 in the Interscholastic Meet and anchoring the 2-mile and medley relay events in the annual Cornell Relays.This article appears as originally published in the Fall 1988 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.
In 1932 he enrolled at the University of Hawaii where he became a member of the varsity track squad running the 440, 880 and relay events. He helped also to coach the Punahou track squad – the start of a long and distinguished coaching career.
Bob transferred to Stanford in 1934. Because as a transferee, he was unable to participate in his junior year, he decided not to pursue a track career in college. However, he trained with the varsity squad and was a top 440 and 880 man on his intra-mural team which won two straight championships.
Returning to Honolulu following his graduation from Stanford, bob immediately volunteered his services to Punahou and served fro 1937 to 1940 as assistant head track coach. This stint was followed by various other coaching assignments until 1946 when he was appointed head track coach. During his four year tenure as head coach, 1946 to 1949, his squads won every ILH and State Championship meet. Because of increasing family and business career responsibilities bob had to retire from coaching after 1949.
One of Bob’s greatest contributions to track and to Punahou occurred in 1946 when he conceived the idea of an all-islands relay event track meet. Encouraged by Punahou President John Fox, a strong sports advocate, Bob successfully spearheaded the effort and in 1946 the Punahou Relays was born! Now in its forty-third year, it continues to be one of the State’s most prestigious and popular meets for high school boys and girls. Bob chaired the annual meet for twenty-three years until he moved to the mainland in 1968. Bob retired in 1977 and is now enjoying his retirement years in Kona.
The O Men welcome the “Father of the Punahou Relays” into the Hall of Fame.
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