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Robert Spoo

Robert Spoo

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Robert Spoo

TECHNY -- Robert Allen “Bob” Spoo, 80, of Rockford, IL, formerly of Charleston, IL, died Monday (October 15, 2018) at his home. A mass celebrating his life will be held at The Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Techny, at 11am on November 9th, 2018 with Father Carlos Paniagua-Monroy officiating. A celebration of his coaching career will take place at Eastern Illinois University at a later date. Bob was born November 2nd, 1937 in Chicago, IL, the son of John and Helen Spoo, nee Fuzi. He married Susan Biederer in 1972. Survivors include his daughter Katharine 'Katie' Spoo of Rockford, IL, and several nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Spoo, brother Jack Spoo, sister Carol Mingey, and beloved wife Susan.

Bob was a former football coach at both the high school and college level, and retired after 50 years on the field (including 25 seasons as Head Coach at EIU) in 2011. While at EIU, Coach Spoo led the Panthers to 9 playoff berths and accumulated 5 conference championships. He was selected Gateway Conference Coach of the Year once, and Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year 3 times. Bob also enjoyed stints as quarterbacks coach at the University of Wisconsin and Purdue University, his alma mater, where he quarterbacked the team and was selected co-captain for the blue grey game in 1958. He began his coaching career in the Chicago Catholic League, eventually accepting the Head Coach position at Loyola Academy where he went on to coach for 6 seasons, leading his 1969 team to an undefeated record and a Prep Bowl win over Lane Tech at Soldier Field. Also in 1969, he was voted Illinois Coach of the Year, and was inducted into the Loyola Academy Hall of Fame in 1985. Coach Spoo has also been inducted into the EIU Hall of Fame, Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame, and in 2018 was selected by the Chicago Tribune as one of the 30 greatest all-time college coaches in Illinois. In 2000, he was the runner up for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award for the best coach in I-AA college football. Coach Spoo leaves behind an incredible legacy by way of the countless young men that have gone on to succeed in life, football, and coaching secondary to his leadership and guidance. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Eastern Illinois University Athletic Department Attention: EIU Football or to Loyola Academy Athletics Attention: Football.

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