BEREA — Bob Packard, who won more games than any football coach in the history of Baldwin-Wallace College, died Saturday of a heart attack.
He was 64.
Packard, a 1965 B-W graduate, won even more games than the legendary Lee Tressel, for whom he both played and coached, but he was never about the records, only about the people.
“I have been truly blessed,” Packard said in announcing his retirement in early 2002. “I always knew that I wanted to be a football coach. How many people get a chance to get their dream job at a place they love?
“My fondest memories will be of the tons of players who became great alumni and great citizens of our country. There were thousands of young men who gave everything they had in an effort to be successful. I don’t remember a one that I didn’t really love when everything was said and done.”
Packard had a record of 156-54-2 in 21 seasons as Yellow Jackets coach from
1981-2001. Twice under his leadership the Jackets went 10-1 and three other times the Jackets won nine games. He led the Jackets to six Ohio Athletic Conference titles and to two appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
In 38 years as a player, assistant coach and head coach, Packard helped B-W win 258 games, 58 percent of all the school’s victories in football. He never experienced a losing season.
Besides playing for and coaching under Tressel, he also coached Lee’s son Jim, the Ohio State football coach, who played quarterback for the Jackets from 1971-74.
“The college football and Baldwin-Wallace College communities lost a great man in Coach Packard,” Jim Tressel said in a statement. “He touched many, many lives in his illustrious career and will be dearly missed. The Tressel family, specifically, lost a much loved friend who had an important impact on our lives. Our prayers and loving thoughts go out to Bob’s wonderful family.”
“He touched many, many lives in his illustrious coaching career and will be dearly missed,” Tressel said in a statement. “The Tressel family, specifically, lost a much loved friend who had an important impact on our lives.”
Packard is survived by his wife, Ann Marie, of Berea, and daughters Jennifer of Atlanta, and Beth, of Toronto. Viewing will be Friday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Baker-Osinski-Kensinger Funeral Home at 206 Front St. in Berea. A private family memorial service will be held on Saturday and a campus-wide service wil be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Berea United Methodist Church at 170 Seminary St.