Robert “Bob” Williams Reese

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Robert “Bob” Williams Reese
Athletic Director • West Chester

Robert “Bob” Williams Reese was born in Scranton, PA on May 27, 1926 the son of Elias and Elizabeth Williams Reese.

After serving a tour in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946, he attended East Stroudsburg State College where he was a varsity quarterback, a varsity swimmer and a basketball player. He graduated in 1948. In 1950 he received a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bob Reese began his professional career at Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonweath University) where he coached soccer, baseball and basketball. He joined the West Chester State faculty in 1951 as head coach of cross country, gymnastics, and basketball. He also assisted in football and baseball under Glenn Killinger and served as director of sports publicity.

In 1959 he was appointed assistant athletic director and became director the following year. While in the position of Athletic Director, he was instrumental in upgrading the entire athletic program.

Having the foresight to see that women’s athletics were emerging from small scale programs to challenge men’s programs for equity and funding, Bob was instrumental in bringing competitive athletics to West Chester. His admonition was “just do it and I’ll back you wherever I can”. It was this positive approach that assisted in the evolution of women’s sports at West Chester.

Mr. Reese served twice as vice president and again as president of the ECAC (East Coast Atlantic Conference). He was chairman of the soccer committee of the ECC (East Coast Conference) and the ECAA (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association) as well as commissioner of the North Atlantic Gymnastics League.

He was past president and a member of the executive committee of the Middle Atlantic Football Association. Mr Reese was also a member of the television committee for the ECAC and of the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, representing the small college division in the eastern half of the US.

Other professional activities included four years as secretary of the PSCC, Pennsylvania State College Conference; a member of the President’s Athletic Advisory Committee; a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics; a member of the College Athletic Business Managers Association; and a member of the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

In 1978 Mr. Reese was honored by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains in Philadelphia for his humanitarian service.

When he was relieved of his duties as athletic director, he committed his energies to helping Coach Neil Serpico and the baseball program. He was the founder and first president of the Golden Ram Dugout Club and worked tirelessly to plan fundraising events for the baseball program and organized the first Dugout Club Eagles-Phillies Luncheon.

His career at WCSC/ WCU went from 1951 to 1980. Bob died of a heart attack June 28, 1980. He had two sons from his first marriage to Alberta Mashburn: Robert Reese, Jr and David Reese. His sons and his second wife, Patricia Russo Reese survive him.

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