Standing on the sidelines at Boonville from 1963-71 has brought many good memories for former Pirates football and track coach Bob Fisher.
However, little did he know that a tribute would be held in his honor Friday night during halftime of the Boonville-Holden football game at the BHS Sports Complex.
While closing out his eight-year career at Boonville with a record of 35-33-4, Fisher said he always wanted to be a head coach and Boonville gave him the opportunity in 1963 for both football  and track as well as teaching Physical Science.
Fisher said it’s very humbling to be remembered. “I was surprised when I was approached, overwhelmed really,” Fisher said. “There are so many memories during my time at Boonville. You know, the friendships that I made in the community and with the parents, and most of all, the relationships that I had with the kids. Also, with others, I helped start the Boonville Optimist Club and their initial program, flag football.”
Of course it came by chance that Fisher ended up at Boonville after graduating from William Jewell. After teaching in Clarence and Stewartsville, Fisher went to Savannah in 1959 and got the opportunity to be an assistant coach in addition to teaching.
But while always wanted to be a head coach, he said he accepted the position for both football and track at Boonville.
Fisher said he always felt track and football were closely related. “Even in relays, track is a very individual sport, while football is a team sport,” Fisher said. “However, the kids developed in track carries over to the football field and in life in general. I always participated in both football and track when I was growing up in the Marine Corps and in college. One coaching highlight that comes to mind is setting state records in both the indoor and outdoor 880 relay in 1968.”
Fisher said he also loved the discipline and toughness that it takes to be a good football player. He said it was such a privilege to be able to get to know the players individually and help guide them.
“The Boonville kids were very eager to learn the skills and we didn’t have discipline problems,” Fisher said. “They were a pleasure to work with.”
While recently celebrating his 87th birthday, he said the memory of a specific team or teams isn’t what it used to be. However, he said the win over Harrisonville on their field stands out as one of the best games during his coaching tenure. “Helias was a team we always wanted to beat, but didn’t Fisher said. “I have good memories of all eight teams that I coached in Boonville.”
Fisher said he is excited to reconnect with former players and parents at Boonville.
Although Fisher has strong ties with Boonville, he was actually born in Pilot Grove on August 25th, 1929 and lived on a farm west of Boonville with his aunt and uncle when he was very young. He eventually ended up in Excelsior Springs and went to high school there, where he lettered in track and football every year. His football coach was Norris Patterson, a man he deeply respected.
After leaving Boonville in 1971, Fisher moved to O’Fallon, where he became the head football and track coach at Fort Zumwalt High School. During his time there, the football athletic field at Fort Zumwalt North High School was named the Robert L. Fisher Stadium and he was inducted into the St. Louis Metropolitan Football Hall of Fame. He was also president of the Fort Zumwalt Teacher’s Association. He retired in 1987 after teaching and coaching Missouri for 31 years.
Since his retirement, Fisher has served as a Fort Zumwalt School Board member for 12 years and as an alderman for the city of O’Fallon. He has worked as a starter for St. Louis area track meets for many years and coached the girls basketball team for a local Christian high school team, who finished third in state. He was also a business partner in Fisher Grimes Frozen Custard along with former Boonville coach, Les Grimes. They currently are business partners in Fisher and Grimes Car Wash with two locations in St. Peters. He is also a member of Cornerstone Methodist Church in O’Fallon and the St. Peters Kiwanis Club.
His wife, Doris, also taught business courses at Boonville High School and his daughter, Dianne Fowler, graduated in 1971.
Note: All grads are welcome to attend a social gathering on Saturday evening. Time and place to be announced.