Bob Svob, one of the most important figures in University of Arizona and a member of the Beta Phi Hall of Honor, died Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. He was 98.
He was the youngest of nine children of a Jerome miner, who died of lung disease in at the age of 56. His high school football coach was Waldo Dicus, Beta Phi ‘30, who helped him get a football scholarship at the UA, where he was mentored by coach J.F. “Pop” McKale in 1937. He played fullback and halfback for the Wildcats. He pledged Sigma Chi and major in physical education. He also earned a master’s degree in administration.
In 1942 he became director of intramural sports. Brother Svob served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and when he was discharged he resumed his positon as director of intramural sports. He also was coach of the freshmen team in 1947 and ‘48. He became assistant athletic director from 1959 until 1966, when he was selected as dean of men. In 1972 he became dean of students, a position he held until he retired. From the 1950s until early 1960s he was commissioner of Interscholastic High School Athletics in Southern Arizona.
He was a charter member and vice president of Big Brothers of Tucson, board chairman of the Arizona Boys Ranch, chairman of the YMCA Triangle Y Ranch Camp, chairman of the YMCA Metro board, chairman of the YMCA Youth Foundation, board member of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona and a deacon of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church.
Brother Svob was inducted into the Beta Phi Hall of Fame in 2002, the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UA Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. He was an honorary Bobcat, and an honorary life member of the YMCA. He was inducted in 2014 to the YMCA Hall of Fame.
Each year the outstanding sorority and fraternity are honored with the Bob Svob Award. A scholarship n his name is given yearly by the Alumni Association.
Arizona Daily Star Tribute Article
All Honor to His Name