Remembering Bob McNamara
Article By: Kenny Devine Last April, I had the opportunity to meet Bob McNamara. His name was familiar due to the large McNamara Center and rumblings of his athletic greatness, however I did not fully comprehend his stature. I met him at his annual Legends Luncheon that featured many noteworthy Minnesota athletes. Yet, as the lunch progressed, McNamara seemed to outshine all of them. Little did I know this would be McNamara’s final Legends Luncheon. With his passing, I have joined others in the conclusion that his life’s work has left an immeasurable legacy on the University of Minnesota. Many of McNamara’s contributions were directed towards the athletic communities. Various facilities that host RecWell’s intramural and sport club activities, such as TCF Bank Stadium and Ridder Arena, came to fruition with McNamara’s assistance. He was also instrumental in saving men’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s golf, programs that compete at RecWell facilities. All of these efforts were superb accomplishments, however this does not paint the full picture of McNamara. Dr. Jim Turman, Director of Recreation and Wellness, shared his reflection with me. “He was enthusiastic, always interested in what you were doing. He made you feel good, and was just a good person.” McNamara lived just down the road from Turman, and both were frequent users of the handball and racquetball courts at the St. Anthony Athletic Club. Turman stated that he, “always knew it was Bob driving because he had University of Minnesota flags on his car.” Most remember Bob McNamara as an All-American football player. However his racquetball skills were just as impressive, as Turman explained. So impressive in fact, McNamara was inducted into the Minnesota Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1988. “He played in state and local tournaments at our facilities,” stated Turman. “He liked the court sport facilities that we have here.” McNamara was a fixture in the court sports community for decades, and he was still playing racquetball as recently as last year. In his retirement years, McNamara became a fixture on campus; running into him became routine for Turman. “We would talk about what was going on at the University; what project he was working on, usually fundraising.” In some ways McNamara never retired, he just devoted more time to the university. I will always relish my interaction with Bob McNamara; even in the end his presence illuminated a room. A true competitor and benefactor for the university community, McNamara has left an enduring legacy, and the university is in a much better place thanks to his efforts. “The University of Minnesota is definitely indebted to Bob for what he has done over a long time,” said Turman. “He had friends from all walks of life, and I was privileged to be one of them.” There is no doubt that my experience at the University of Minnesota has left a lasting impression on me. If I can give one ounce of Bob McNamara’s service to the university during my life, I would consider that a success. Kenny Devine is the Marketing and Communications Intern with University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness
Learn to Swim Mini Camps
Camp Dates Session 1: August 11-14 Session 2: August 18-21 About Mini Camps Mini camps are designed to continue the learning process and to minimize the time spent out of the water between Summer 3 and Fall 1 Sessions. Mini Camps are open to children ages 4 and older, and they will give young swimmers the opportunity to learn how a swim camp functions. For more information and to register, visit the Mini Camps page.
Outdoor Center Summer Rentals
The Minneapolis Outdoor Center has all of your summer activities covered with affordable rental rates. Located in the lower level of the Minneapolis RecWell Center, there is staff on hand to answer any questions. The Outdoor Center boasts a wide variety of camping gear, for any length trip. You can also find water crafts (paddle boards and canoes), as well as bicycles (single speed and mountain). A complete list of rental options and rates is available here.
Join a Summer Group Fitness Class!
Keep up with the summer heat by having fun in a summer group fitness class! All classes will be free from May 27 - June 1. View class schedules below. Minneapolis Summer Schedule: Web / PDF St. Paul Summer Schedule: Web / PDF For class descriptions and more information, visit the Group Fitness page. Summer FitPass Fees Summer Semester FitPass fees for members are $40 for all access (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and $30 for St. Paul only. Passes can be purchased at the Minneapolis or St. Paul membership offices.