When Bob Macholtz graduated in 1949, he thought he finished his athletic days at Anderson College. He couldn’t then foresee that he would later return to Anderson with his brother James BA ‘51 and preside over 20 years of growth in the athletic program. As a student Macholtz played baseball for four years, three of which teamed his pitching arm with James covering home plate as the catcher. He also played basketball for two years. After graduating with a major in physical education, Macholtz moved on from Anderson, as did his brother. “Jim and I had no idea we¹d ever be [working] there,” Macholtz says. Bob Macholtz, 78, died March 26, 2003
In the early 50s, the athletic program was struggling, and President John Morrison asked the brothers to Anderson as faculty to build a strong program with a good reputation.
“We came at a very difficult time in the athletics program. They were put out of the conference. The president and Dean Olt knew Jim and me, and they contacted us. We were told they wanted a very high caliber, student-athlete-type program,” said Bob. And that’s exactly what the Macholtzs’, with the help of Department Chair Ernie Rangazas, set out to build. Gertrude Wunsch joined them in 1955.
“We had all the coaching and sports and everything back in those days.” Despite the workload, Macholtz remembers his time at Anderson fondly, “I look back on that and it was the highlight of my life, those 20 years at Anderson College.”
Bob Macholtz was an associate professor of physical education, athletic director, baseball coach for three years and basketball coach for 15 years. As the basketball coach, he was named “Coach of the Year” four times in the Hoosier Conference, to which Anderson then belonged.
Macholtz took the Ravens to six Hoosier Conference basketball championships and in 1961 to the third round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament. “I had some wonderful student athletes,” Macholtz says. “They were the type of guys that really gave it their all. And most of them were excellent students. My best basketball team was in 1960-61. Of the 14 guys, three now hold doctoral degrees, ten had their master’s degrees. I think that indicates the type of young men we had here.”
Robert W. Macholtz, 78, Holmes Beach, FL, died March 26, 2003. He was born April 24, 1924, in St. Joseph, Mich., and came to Holmes Beach in 1970 from Anderson, Ind. He was a member of Cedars Tennis Club and Longboat Island Chapel. He was a pilot in the Navy Air Corps. Survivors include sons James of Holmes Beach and Steve of Tucson, Ariz.; and two grandchildren.
— Segments of this story were reprinted with permission from "Signatures," the alumni magazine of Anderson University.