Bob Bessoir

About This Inductee

Bob Bessoir is the head basketball coach at the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa. Since taking over the reins at his Alma Mater in 1972, Bob has brought the Scranton Royals to national prominence in the small-college basketball ranks. His teams have won two NCAA Division III National Championships, earned one second-place and one third-place finish nationally, and have received sixteen post-season tournament bids in the past twenty years, which is a national record for Division III coaches. Bessoir is the most successful coach in Middle Atlantic Conference basketball history. The MAC is comprised of institutions in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. He has captured thirteen (North) league championships and a like number of playoff championships. His conference record is a sterling 232-70 with a playoff mark of 32-7. He was selected Division III National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times Magazine in 1993, and by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1983. He received NABC Regional Coach of the Year honors four times, as well as being recognized by Eastern Basketball Magazine and the Middle Atlantic Conference for coach of the year awards. In the summer of ’94, Bessoir was selected to the coaching staff of the East Team in the United States Olympic Festival at St. Louis. Team East won the festival silver medal. In 1992, the U. of S. basketball program reached a milestone by winning its 1,000th victory in the school’s history, becoming only the eighth Division III institution to reach this level in the United States; Scranton is the first Division III N. Eastern USA college to attain this goal. Bessoir has been part of over 530 of these victories as a head coach, assistant coach, and player. He has amassed over 460 victories in his twenty-three year stint as the Royal’s head coach. As a player, he scored over 1,000 points, was his team’s leading scorer and rebound in his junior and senior years, and became the first recipient of the John “Les” Dickman MVP Award. He still holds Scranton’s all-time game record of 42 rebounds set in 1955. Bob has been selected to the U. of S. “Sports Wall of Fame,” the Scranton area “Sports Hall of Fame,” and the Pennsylvania “Sports Hall of Fame,” Lackawanna County Chapter. He has been honored by being named as the recipient of the U. of S. Graduate School’s “Cyrano Award,” and also received the coveted “Frank H. O’Hara Award,” given to distinguished alumni of the U. of S. In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious U. of S. Centennial Medal and was selected for membership in ALPHA SIGMA NU, the national Jesuit Honor Society. Earlier in his career, he coached the baseball and tennis teams at the University of Scranton. He holds the academic rank of Professor of Physical Education at the University of Scranton.