Bob Pflug – Wall of Champions

J. Robert Pflug spent his entire career involved with football and found great success as both a player and a coach. As such, he was deservedly honored for his achievements in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Pflug was born in Massillon on October 4, 1905, and had the opportunity to play high school ball throughout his entire Tiger career under legendary Coach Dave Stewart.

As a junior in 1922 the team finished 10-0 and captured the state championship, tied with
Toledo Scott.  Pflug started on both the offensive and defensive lines, with the Tigers outscoring their opponents, 379-28.  He also kicked three extra points.

For his senior season, the 175 lb. Pflug was named captain and again started on both sides of the line, in addition to being the punter, place kicker and punt returner.  The Stark County champions finished 8-2 that year, with losses to Harrisburg Tech (which was an adult team), 26-0, and Youngstown South, 19-6.  Harrisburg was the first out-of-state team to ever play Massillon.

Against Salem, he kicked eight extra points, setting a record that was not broken until Jason Brown converted nine during a game in 1991.  The current record is fourteen, which is held by Alex Bauer (2018).  For the season, Pflug kicked 26 PATs and three field goals, including a long of 31 yards versus Wooster.

His best game surely came against Canton McKinley in a 9-0 victory after which he was named Most Valuable Player.  Lauded by the media for his great line play, he also booted twelve long punts while averaging in excess of 40 yards, scored a drop-kick field goal from the 17 yard line and blocked a punt.

Football wasn’t his only sport, as he also lettered in basketball and track.

After high school, Pflug enrolled at Grove City College, where he played football from 1924 to 1927.


His first stop as a coach was at Knox High School in Pennsylvania from 1928-31, where he compiled a record of 20-10-1.  After that came Bradford High School from 1932-50, which he left with a remarkable record of 126-29-5.  Seven times his team was undefeated.  He had a 31-game unbeaten streak (1933-36) and a 25-game unbeaten streak (1937-40) overlapping the great years of Massillon’s Paul Brown.  But unfortunately, the two teams never met.  He departed Pennsylvania as the winningest all-coach in the Big 30, which included teams in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.  In 1968, Bradford named their football stadium J. Robert Pflug Field.

College was next on the resume.  From 1951 to 1956 he was a line coach at Brown University and then from 1957 to 1969 a defensive line coach at Princeton University.


Pflug was inducted into the Pennsylvania High School Coaches Hall of Fame 1989 and the Massillon Wall of Champions in 1994.

He died on August 15, 1991, in Browns Cove, Virginia.