Bob Caress ’61 is one of the most celebrated athletes in Thornton’s celebrated history of athletic achievement. A three-letter athlete (basketball, football, and baseball), Bob led the famed ’61 basketball team to second place in the state finals. For his outstanding play, Bob was named the Sun-Times Chicago Area 1960-1961 Player of the Year. Bob continued his great multi-sport success at Bradley University: in 1964 and 1965, he was elected to the first team All Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Team. In addition, he was named Bradley University Athlete of the Year for 1965 and 1966. He set all-time NCAA football records for passes thrown, for most completions, and for most yards during a four-season career, 1962-65.
► Bob Caress is the keynote speaker at the 2015 Alumni Day/Hall of Fame. Get details of the event and register.
In 1972, Bob launched himself into business as the owner of the Supreme Golf Retail Stores. Beginning with a store in Cincinnati and three other Midwest locations and franchises in six other cities, Bob built this business into the third largest chain of golf stores in the United States before he sold the business in 1991.
After he sold his business, Bob’s great athleticism came to the forefront again in the game of tennis. From 1993-2006, he was a regionally and nationally ranked tennis player in singles and doubles. In 2003, Bob coached the Division One Princeton High School tennis team to the state championship, and he was named the Cincinnati High School Tennis Coach of the Year.
In 2009, Bob and the Caress family suffered the most terrible loss when Bob’s youngest child Andy, succumbed to skin cancer (metastatic melanoma). The following year, the Caress family established the Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation to honor their son and to raise awareness of this disease. The support of the Foundation is now a principal passion of his life and characteristic of his success in many other endeavors. Bob has led the way in the Foundation having raised over $100,000 to date, for free sun screen to schools, tennis facilities and swimming pools, and for research into the prevention and care of this disease.