Robert “Butch” Powell

About This Inductee

Bob Powell, who recently retired from a New Jersey public school system as a physical education teacher of little tots to high school seniors, has been blessed his entire life with an intense desire and dedication to develop his physical skills and his mental ability. Bob was born and raised in the South Wilkes-Barre area, attended city schools and was graduated from Meyers High School in 1953. While in the eighth grade, he began competitive boxing at a local boys club while simultaneously participating in interscholastic wrestling and football, earning varsity letters in both sports at Meyers. But boxing seemed to be his first love and his record at his young age was 29-8. Bob accepted a full scholarship as a boxer to Penn State University where he compiled a 5-0 record in his freshman year. Regrettably, Penn State dropped the sport the following year. Feeling the pull of the sport for continued competition while earning an education, Bob decided to enlist in the Marine Corps, which was a duty of all young men at the time. While in the Marines, Bob boxed in the light welterweight division (139 pounds) and won the Open boxing title in his very first tournament at Camp LeJeune. In 1956 he finished second in the American Athletic Union (AAU) championship tournament; he was second in the All Marine Corp Championship tournament at Camp LeJeune; and Bob won the Southwestern United States Regional Championship at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. On the strength of winning the Regional Championship, he was invited to compete in the 1956 Olympic trials, the finals of which were held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. In 1957 at Camp Pendleton, Bob won the All Marine Corp Championship as a light welterweight and then the All Interservice Championship at the United States Naval Station in Newport News, the first time ever the Marine Corps won the All Interservice Championship as a team. His Marine Corps boxing record stands at 37-4 and his overall record is 72-12; not bad for a skinny kid from South Wilkes-Barre. After being honorably discharged, Bob enrolled at East Stroudsburg University where he met his future wife, Rosemarie. They were married in 1961 and, in 1962, Bob received his degree in health and physical education. After teaching and coaching in New Jersey schools for close to 36 years, and being recognized on a state-wide basis for excellence in teaching, and having raised a family, a son Bill, who with his wife, have given Bob and Rose two grandchildren, Bob decided it was time to look for new challenges and elected to retire, a state which he enjoys immensely.