WHERE ARE THEY NOW? | BOB STEPHENS

Where Are They Now?: Bob Stephens

2011-07-25T22:00:00Z 2011-07-26T05:06:58Z Where Are They Now?: Bob StephensBy Mike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com

Bob Stephens made sure his runners developed a rhythm.

Whether at Hammond, Bloom Trail or Gavit, Stephens took it to heart.

"We had a lot of fun is what I remember most," Stephens said. "We used to sing popular songs when we went out for our runs."

"A 10-mile run, we sang a lot of songs. that was back when I could run with the kids," he said.

Stephens retired as the Gavit cross country coach, capping off a great coaching career at three high schools in two states.

"A lot of great athletes, great kids. It was a lot of fun," Stephens said. "I worked with and coached against some great coaches and athletic directors. Most of them (athletic directors) were great because they cared about the entire athletic program."

He succeeded Dan Candiano at Hammond in an era when the Wildcats had one of the top programs in the country and were featured in Sports Illustrated.

He won 63 consecutive cross country meets from 1976-1981.

At Bloom Trail, Candiano, the school's athletic director, hired him to coach girls cross country and track. His track teams were third and fourth in 1982 and 1983, respectively, in the Illinois girls Class AA state meet.

He also won 45 consecutive track dual meets in the old SICA East, which had track powers Thornton, Thornridge, Thornwood, Homewood-Flossmoor and Eisenhower.

"We ran against the best at every school I was at," Stephens said. "The old Lake Shore Conference, that was tough, and the SICA East, well that was just loaded."

Stephens got his start as a track star at Morton, under Nick Luketic. The quartet of Stephens, Wes Lukoshus, Rudy Skorupa and Barrrett Luketic set a school record in the mile relay of 3 minutes, 24.6 seconds.

"Nick Luketic was a big influence on my going into coaching," Stephens said. "He pushed us, and Dan (Candiano) gave me my chance when he asked me to help him out at Hammond High. We had Carey Pinkowski, Rudy Chapa and Tim Keough, three of the best ever."

He graduated from Purdue University Calumet and started teaching at Eggers Middle School. He and his wife, Alice, also a Morton grad, have been married for 38 years. They have two children, Kathryn and Rich.

Stephens is still coaching -- fishermen instead of runners. He has worked four years at Cabela's in Hammond and loves it.

"I love talking with and helping fishermen with finding Sonar equipment or GPS systems," Stephens said. "For me, it is being educated on the (marine) items, so that I can best answer or help someone with a question."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses