Bob DeGroat

Class of


Bob DeGroat coached Tower Hill School to state-wide football prominence, served as athletic director for 35 years and developed the school’s approach to universal participation in sports. When the
former Army pilot and prisoner of war brought the T formation to Tower Hill in 1947, the school was considering dropping the sport. Within several years, the team was among the state’s best. Over a
six-season span, from 1954 to 1959, Tower Hill lost three games, going 43-3 behind Bill Mullis, Pat Williams, Steve Hyde, Gil Yule, Ruly Carpenter, Mike Castle, Peter Wardenburg, Bill Beck, Jim
Straub, Gordon Bussard, Reeves Montague and John Pierson. He was the state’s high school football Coach of the Year for 1959.

His teams were undefeated in 1956, 1957 and 1959, and lost just once in six other seasons (1949, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1963 and 1967). When he reached his 100th victory in 1959, it was reported that
he was the first high school coach to reach that threshold. In 1972, his penultimate team was unscored-upon until the final six quarters of the season. His teams’ cumulative record was 118-78-4. As
athletic director, the Springfield College graduate developed the school’s policy of full participation, in interscholastic or intramural sports, for both boys and girls, describing it as “a sport
for everyone and everyone for a sport.” In winter and spring, he led middle school and intramural sports. He helped form the Independent Conference and develop its code of conduct. The Tower Hill
football field was named for him in 2007.



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