Robert “Bob” Vespaziani- (Builder)

…thrice the A.U.A.A.’s football “Coach of the Year”

Bob Vespaziani first gained distinction as the Axemen’s Head Football Coach in 1971, guiding the club to a very creditable standing in conference play. The following season, the Massachusetts- born mentor, was named the Bluenose Football Conference coach-of-the-year as he guided the team to the runner-up position behind St. Mary’s Huskies. The ’73 and ’74 seasons were again successful ones for Bob and his charges as they achieved respective 5-1 and 6-0 regular season records only to lose key games to their perennial rivals -the Huskies.

The 1975 season was a banner one for the Vespaziani-guided Axemen as they defeated St. Mary’s 10-3 in the Atlantic Intercollegiate Championship game. Then having earned the right to host the Calgary Dinosaurs in the Atlantic Bowl, the locals were defeated by the Westerners, 38-13.

Following 23-8 and 23-0 victories over St. Mary’s and St. F .x. respectively in 1976, the Axemen defeated Ottawa in the Atlantic Bowl contest. In College Bowl play, however, Acadia dropped a 29-13 decision to Western Ontario Mustangs. In ’77, Bob’s charges were again successful as they defeated Queen’s in the Atlantic Bowl, but lost, 48-15, to the Western Mustangs in the national championship game.

Following the 1978 season, Bob departed the Acadia scene to join the coaching staff of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and a very successful stint in the professional ranks.

During his tenure with the football Axemen, Bob Vespaziani took the club from a competitive status to that of a contender for the national crown. In addition to coaching two Canadian championship finalists, Bob had the gratifying experience of having three of his players -namely, Alan Charuk, Bob Stracina and Bob Cameron -win the prestigious Hec Creighton Trophy, presented annually to the best college footballer in the country .

Three times he was named A.U.A.A.’s “Coach-of-the-Year” and twice he served as an assistant coach of the Can-Am Bowl.

It is indeed an honour to welcome for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, Bob Vespaziani, an outstanding football coach who is highly regarded as a motivator and character builder.