Bob Behr '55: One Hall of Fame is Not Enough

Bob Behr '55: One Hall of Fame is Not Enough

WILIAMSTOWN, MA – Bob Behr excelled in track & field at Williams College and then as a coach at Tower Hill School in Delaware and on May 16 he will be inducted into his second Hall of Fame in Delaware. The ceremony will be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Del.

Behr will be one of 10 standouts to be inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame. This will mark the second Hall of Fame in Delaware to honor Behr's many athletic accomplishments. Previously Behr had been inducted into the Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame.

Behr came to Williams from Evanston, Ill., because "some upper classmen from my high school that I admired had come to Williams and I wanted to follow them and my mother was from Massachusetts and she knew some Williams gentlemen and she was happy that I decided to come to a place she was familiar with," Behr stated.

Behr became a top sprinter for the Ephs. His then Williams record time of 21.33 for 200 meters is all the more impressive because he was timed on a cinder track and not on a all-weather track surface like the athletes of today compete on.

When asked how much his Williams track coach, Tony Plansky, affected his running career and coaching career Behr noted, "He taught me to let the athletes find their own route and with as little gentle guidance as possible."

Behr's favorite track memory is not when he set the Williams' 200 meter record, but the three times he came home from the famed Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden with "three handsome medals," said Behr. "Coming from behind to win a mile relay in Madison Square Garden as the anchor man and getting a rousing cheer from all of the attendees was the biggest highlight. We had a very good mile relay team back then."

Bob Behr coached the Tower Hill School to statewide prominence in track and cross-country during his 19 years while teaching in the English Department.

With innovative training techniques, studying physiology, and his passion for the sport Behr led Tower Hill to unprecedented heights compiling a dual meet record of 160-28-2.

Tower Hill athletes won one-fourth (56 of 224) of all Division II state titles with Behr in charge. Behr coached six state championship teams in cross country and track, and his boys' mile relay teams won their section at the prestigious Penn Relays four times.

Behr was also instrumental in developing women's track in Delaware starting a team at Tower Hill and creating the Delaware Track & Field Club.

In addition, for 13 years Behr was a sprinting consultant for the Philadelphia Phillies, and for 15 years, he was the Delaware correspondent for Sports Illustrated.

In 1981, he moved to Williams College, where he served for 35 years as Director of the Williams Alumni Fund, Director of Alumni Relations, Director of the Alumni Travel Program, while also serving as a volunteer assistant track coach and as the public address announcer at all home track meets.