1975 ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Bob Faris was associated with GW athletics for more than 45 years. A triple-sport athlete in basketball, football and tennis buring his undergraduate days, his accomplishments have been magnified during his tenure as coach and athletic director in his guidance of the development of sports at the University.
Faris came to GW in 1935 and became GW's first basketball All-American. During his three years of varsity competition, he helped lead the Colonials to a 42-16 record in basketball. He also won three letters in football and three in tennis.
Faris returned to his alma mater in 1955 as athletic director from the University of Nebraska where he worked on the football coaching staff. In his 27 years at the helm of GW Athletics, he oversaw a program which developed into one of national prominence.
During his tenure, Colonial athletics chalked up 19 Southern Conferences championships and a Sun Bowl victory in football. He has seen the dream of an on-campus athletic facility (The Charles E. Smith Center) become a reality and was a guiding force in its construction. He also was instrumental in gaining membership for GW in the prestigious Atlantic 10 Conference.
In the late 1960s, the University decided to withdraw from the Southern Conference to compete as an Independent. It was Faris who revamped schedules to give GW athletics a more Eastern-oriented flavor along with admittance into the Eastern College Athletic Conference and charter membership in the Eastern Eight (now Atlantic 10). Prior to that, there were the numerous Southern Conference championships, participation in NCAA baseball, basketball and soccer championships and capturing the 1957 Sun Bowl with at 13-0 victory over Texas Western. He was instrumental in the development of a well-rounded athletic program with the addition of soccer, wrestling, swimming, water polo and rowing.
A native of Fremont, NE, Faris was a star athlete at Fremont High. Upon graduation from GW in 1939, he returned to Nebraska to enter the coaching profession. He coached several high schools, including Fremont. He and his wife, Nadine, had three grandchildren living with their daughter and son-in-law in Denver, CO.