Hall of Fame Member and Former GCAA President Bob Nye Passes Away
WOOSTER, Ohio – Longtime College of Wooster golf and soccer coach Bob Nye died early Friday morning following a series of recent strokes. He was 81.
Highly respected by his colleagues and deeply revered by his student-athletes, Nye was an icon in the department of athletics at The College of Wooster for more than three decades. Not only did he coach two sports, but he also served as PGA professional at the College's L.C. Boles Golf Course, where he provided lessons for hundreds of area golfers over the years.
Nye served as President of the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) from 1984 to 1986 and was elected to the GCAA Hall of Fame in 1988. He was also named a GCAA Honor Award winner in 1999.
"He was such a kind and classy gentleman," said Graham Ford, who joined the Scot soccer coaching staff in 1991 and succeeded Nye as head coach in 1995. "He touched the lives of so many people at so many different levels, and he was a major factor in the growth of both sports collegiately, particularly soccer. I don't think people realize how much he did to advance the two sports."
A graduate of Springfield College where he played soccer and was a member of the 1957 national championship team, Nye joined the staff at Wooster in 1964 and soon came to be regarded as one of the finest collegiate coaches in the nation.
In soccer, he coached nearly 500 games, guiding the Scots to six conference championships, 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, and an overall record of 269-188-41 (.581). He also turned out 133 all-conference performers and 16 All-Americans. In addition, he was named North Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1989, and in 1991 he won the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Officials Association Distinguished Merit Award. Then, in 1993, he was presented with the Honor Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for his many contributions to the sport.
"Coach Nye was a father figure, a mentor to all of us," said Ric Martinez, who played on one of Nye's first soccer teams in 1965. "He cared so much about all of us, not just on the field but also in our personal lives. He was a friend to all, someone who was always there for you."
In golf, Nye took over as head coach in 1967 and molded Wooster into one of the top collegiate programs in the country. He guided the Scots to a 95-42 (.693) record in dual matches and led them to 26 tournament victories, including five conference championships. At the national level, he took Wooster to 21 NCAA Tournaments, highlighted by 10 top-10 finishes. His most impressive feat came in 1975, when he led the Scots to the Ohio Athletic Conference title and the NCAA Div. III national championship — the only national team title in school history.
"Coach Nye was very positive, very encouraging," said former golfer and longtime Wooster Country Club professional Gary Welshhans, who played the final round with Coach Nye and his son Scott just two weeks ago. "I was cut from my high school team, and six years later he made me an All-American. Do I owe a lot to Bob Nye? Yeah, pretty much everything."
Nye's other honors include the Northern Ohio Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as induction into four additional Halls of Fame: Wayne County, The College of Wooster, Springfield College, the Northern Ohio PGA Section.
However, Nye's greatest achievement was that of a loving husband to his wife, Peg, and doting father of their five children: daughters Deborah and Donna, and sons Greg, Scott, and Gary, each of whom played for him before going on to careers in the world of golf. In fact, he was recognized by Golfweek as "Father of the Year" in 2007.
"I have been very fortunate," said Nye prior to his induction into Wooster's Hall of Fame in 1997. "When I look back, I realize just how lucky I have been."
Those who had the good fortune to play for and work with the legendary coach no doubt feel the same way.
Story Courtesy College of Wooster.
Bob Nye Funeral Arrangements
Friends will be received on Friday, November 14 from 1-3 P.M. and 5-7 P.M. at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home
Memorial services will be held on Saturday November 15 at 11:00 A.M. at McGaw Chapel on the College of Wooster Campus with Rev. Andries Coetzee officiating
Reception – 1:00 p.m. Wooster Country Club
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to LifeCare Hospice, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691 in Bob’s memory
Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Peg; his brother John of The Villages, FL; daughters Debra Strader (Van) of Acworth, GA and Donna of Wooster; sons Greg (Marjie) of State College, PA, Scott (Sissy) of Bryn Mawr, PA, and Gary (Emily) of Hamilton, MT; grandchildren Jared Calame, Erica Reyes, Brandon and Evan Strader, and Russell, Graham, Scottie, Leigh, Thomas, Brigs, and Curry Nye; and great-grandchildren Jace Calame and Kaiden Reyes.