Former THS Track Coach Elected to Delaware Sports Hall of Fame
Bob Behr, who coached Tower Hill to statewide prominence in track and cross country during his 19 years of comparable excellence in the English Department, has been elected to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame. He was among 10 inducted in the Hall’s 42nd induction ceremony held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront on May 16.
With innovative training techniques, study of physiology and passion for the sport, Behr had success that was unprecedented in Delaware and influential beyond the state’s borders, developing a small-school powerhouse and helping create competitive women’s track in Delaware. From 1964 through 1979, Tower Hill athletes won one-fourth (56 of 224) of all Division II state championships and compiled a dual meet record of 160-28-2. Behr coached six state championship teams in cross country and track, and in 1964, the smallest school ever to win the 1964 New Castle County championship. Six of his athletes – Chuck Hobbs ’65, Bill Neff ’65, Jeff Brokaw ’69, Ken Williams ’76, Ty Roberts ’79 and John Carroll ’81 – set state records. His boys’ mile relay teams won their section at the Penn Relays four times.
In developing women's track in Delaware, Behr coached both of the women’s championship teams of the 1966 Penn Relays. On Friday, Ginger Smith ’66, Carter Coates ’66, Gail Straub ’67 and Dede Hardy ’69 won the high school championship. The following day, Ginger Smith led the victorious Delaware Track and Field Club team.
He was as attentive to and demanding of his sub-JV runners as on his stars. He was the editor of The Search for Black Identity, a textbook published by Independent School Press in 1970, which was used in over 100 schools and colleges.
For 13 years Behr was a sprinting consultant for the Phillies, and for 15 years, he was the Delaware correspondent for Sports Illustrated. In 1981, he moved to Williams College, his alma mater, where he served for 35 years in alumni relations and development. He was inducted into the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1996.