Alumni Spotlight - Oct. 1, 2012
Bob Hooper, D.D.S. - Football and Baseball (Delaware 56)
One of Delaware’s top student-athletes of the 1950’s, Bob Hooper starred in football and baseball and was selected as the 1956 UD Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year. He was a member of Blue Hen football teams that posted a three-year record of 23-4 under Hall of Fame coach David Nelson and baseball teams that went 37-20-1. After spending two years as a backup to All-American Don Miller, Bob took over the starting quarterback spot as a senior and led the squad to an 8-1 record as he threw for 665 yards and led all passers in the East with nine touchdowns.
The Mill Creek, Pa. native also led the team in interceptions and served as punter and kicker for the 1955 squad. He was a three-year regular in baseball and enjoyed an outstanding senior year in 1956 when he joined the pitching rotation and posted a record of 9-0 with a 1.64 earned run average and 48 strikeouts for Hall of Fame coach Tubby Raymond. The 1956 squad went 14-2 and became the first UD team to advance to the NCAA Tournament. He will be inducted into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame this November, 2012.
Bob earned his degree in biology from Delaware in 1956 and followed with a degree in Dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. He served with the U.S. Army Dental Corps in 1960-64 and had his own practice in Delaware from 1965 until 2000. He served as President of the Delaware State Dental Society in 1973-74. He and his wife, Carolyn, have been married for 55 years and they had three children, Carole (deceased), Laura, and Karen. Carole was a 1983 nursing graduate of Delaware and Karen earned her UD degree in 1988.
An avid golfer, Bob served as a United States Golf Association (USGA) Rules official for many years and worked at many of the nation’s top tournaments, including the U.S. Open. In all, Bob worked at over 80 USGA championships as a Rules official and received the USGA’s Joe Dey Award in 2005 in recognition of an individual's meritorious service to the game of golf as a volunteer.
As a student-athlete, what brought you to theUniversity of Delaware?
"The town and campus and and the prospect of being a part of a very good athletic program."
What do you remember most about your time as a student-athlete at the University of Delaware?
"It always seemed that we were more than just a number and that the emphasis was on academics as well as on athletics. It was a great mix."
Do you continue to follow the team?
"I have followed Blue Hen teams every year since my return from military service in 1965."
Tell us about your current career and what makes it so special?
"I have been retired from my dental practice here in Newark for 13 years."
What would be your advice to today's student-athletes?
"Give 100% effort in sports and study."
What do you like to do outside of work?
"I have been involved in playing golf and as a USGA rules official for over 30 years."